Several people took home bags, including me, since one of my younger friends at church said that crabapple jelly was the best thing ever, and my friend, Mimi, had actually served me some of her crabapple jelly on goat cheese on crackers and it was very tasty indeed. I figured I might have the time to do it, and since I'd never done it before, the whole process intrigued me.
The prep is what took the longest time. And I decided to do them all, because I had no use for crabapples in any other recipe.
So it was just bringing it to a boil and then letting them simmer for twenty minutes or so, and the liquid they were cooking in turned this brilliant red. I really liked that, and the house smelled of the tart perfume of crabapples. No sugar, yet, just the fruit and water. It made me wonder if grape jelly or apple jelly is the same process, and I could definitely see it working for apples to get their pectin, but grapes wouldn't hold together for cooking. Maybe grape jelly just extracts the juice the same way they do for wine?
The recipe said to take it to eight degrees above the boiling point of water, but that really seems far too much like making candy instead of jelly, but I've also never really done it before. *laughs* So I may as well make my mistakes and see how it goes. I used 2 1/2 cups of juice so only 1 3/4 cups of sugar, which is still a lot of sugar, it made three and a half cups of jelly, which is far more than I can eat. I actually had sixty ounces of crabapple juice from the cooking, so I bottled a quart of the leftovers into a clean quart milk bottle, and it's delicious, straight, in soda water. I may even sweeten it a little for a really nice crabapple drink.
John and Jet never eat jelly. I almost never do, but this will probably be amazing on goat cheese and in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Still... it's going to be a while before I even get through this much. Luckily, the young lady who told me, at the very first, that crabapple jelly was amazingly good may well take one of the jars. *laughs*
I have to admit when I was prepping all these tiny fruit I thought that someone must have been awful desperate to have initially come up with the concept of crabapple jelly, especially as some means of preserving those amazingly tart fruit. The pectin content is pretty neat, though, and it's probably going to cool solid with time. It's definitely something that takes a lot of time and effort to prepare, but given the taste of what I had at Mimi's and the last dregs from the jelly pan, it is well worth it.