Crab Apple Jelly
There are a few different kinds of crab apples to be found in the UK, but all of them are edible and can be used to make this fruity, fragrant amber preserve.
Makes : Approx 1 × 350ml jar
Prep : 5 minutes, plus overnight straining
Cook : 1½ hours
- 1kg crab apples
- Granulated sugar, about 400g
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Wash the crab apples and cut them into quarters. Put them into a large pan with 2 litres of water, and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for about 30 minutes until the fruit is completely tender.
- Line a sieve with 2 layers of muslin, and set it over a large jug or bowl. Tip the pan of fruit into the sieve, and leave it to drip overnight. Do not press or squeeze the fruit, as this will make the jelly cloudy. (Don’t worry if the juice that drips through seems slightly cloudy: this will disappear when the juice is boiled and skimmed).
- The next day, put a saucer into the freezer. Measure the juice, and for every 100ml add 70g granulated sugar. Put the juice and sugar into a clean pan with the lemon juice and bring to the boil, stirring gently to dissolve the sugar.
- Keep the mixture at a rolling boil, skimming off any scum that accumulates on the surface. After about 40 minutes, test the set by putting a teaspoon of the mixture onto the cold saucer. Leave it for a few seconds, then push the edge of the puddle with your fingertip. If it has solidified, the jelly is ready. If not, return the saucer to the freezer, boil the mixture for another 5 minutes and test again.
- When the jelly is ready, pour it into a warm sterilised 350ml jar (or several smaller ones) and seal while still slightly warm. Store in a cool dry place.
Recipe and photos by Otherwise for Wild Food UK