Once the weather starts to get cooler everyone starts looking for the leaves to start changing, not me. I’m looking at the trees, more importantly I’m looking in the trees. Little shots of deep current red abound, crabapples.
My husbands office is surrounded by crabapple trees. These little trees are beautiful in the spring but come fall they are a big mess for all the cars driving in and out of the lot. So when the building manager sent out an email for interested parties, I was one of the few that took advantage. 5 gallons of fruit didn’t make a dent in all those little guys. But, after an hour of picking I felt sure I had all I could handle. Two hours of juicing, several rounds of straining the juice and a bit of fruit pectin. We now have crabapple jelly.
9 cups, crabapple juice
7 cups, white sugar
2 (2 ounce) packages powdered fruit pectin
Place strained crabapple juice, and pectin into a large saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, and mix in the sugar. Cook the jelly at a rolling boil for 4 minutes, stirring constantly. You want a more syrupy consistency. As it boils keep skimming off any foam. Remove from heat and skim off any remaining foam.
Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water for 20 minutes. Ladle jelly into the hot, sterilized jars, filling the jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp cloth to remove any sticky residue. Top with lids, and screw on rings.
Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill to cover jars by one inch with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 20 minutes. For me 20 minutes is the magic number.
Remove the jars from the stockpot and invert onto a clean cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, until cool. Once cool, press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring that the seal is tight (no popping, lid does not move up or down at all). Store in a cool, dark area.