Come September, crabapple trees are weighed down with fruit. In a good season, there are plenty to go around, so leave the windfalls for the birds and other local wildlife and pick yourself a bagful of these sour beauties to turn into delectable homemade crabapple jelly. It makes the perfect gift for the local food lover in your life – and remember to label it with pride!
- Put the washed apples into a large pan and add just enough water to cover. Add the juice of half a small lemon and 6 cloves for each 2lb (900g) of fruit.
- Simmer until the fruit goes mushy, then use a wooden spoon to turn to a pulp.
- Strain for several hours through a jelly bag or piece of clean calico. (Do not push the juice through the cloth, or you will end up with a cloudy jelly.)
- Measure the juice and then transfer it to a pan along with 1lb (450g) of sugar per pint.
- Bring to a rapid boil and maintain for about 15 minutes (being careful not to let it burn!)
- Check the jelly has reached setting point by placing a spoonful on a saucer – once it has cooled, it should wrinkle if you push it.
- Pour into warm, sterile jars and place a waxed disc on top.
- Store in a cool, dark place.