It seems that, in the middle of winter, I harken back to the days when 10 minutes outside didn't mean potential frost bite.
This is probably the best thing about making my own jams and jellies. Popping a seal open to sweet memories of a summer picking fruit. (Also a reminder that it does warm up.) And that it is the grace of this ridiculously cold weather that we don't have cockroaches or really big hairy spiders.
I made this crabapple jelly last August 2013. I picked the fruit from a friend's backyard. She had just bought the house the week before and I had my eye on the two giant crabapple trees looming over her newly purchased deck. I definitely grabbed one of my friends one afternoon and raided her trees when she was working, with permission, of course.
For my crabapple jelly I used Bernardin pectin powder product. In retro spec, I probs would have done better to get the liquid stuff as my first jelly batch was a bit cloudy because the pectin didn't dissolve perfectly. BUT! It still tasted super good! So not a huge loss.
The recipe I used can be found on Bernardin's website here (but, again, I used the powdered pectin, meh). Pretty simple. I made the juice by boiling about 5 pounds of trimmed crabapples in about 5 cups of water for 10 minutes and then mashing them into crabapple goop. I made a pretty innovative makeshift strainer with cheese cloth and a colander. I let the juice drain overnight in the open air. I will say that we had a fruit fly problem for weeks after.... But with that much fruit it's to be expected I guess. Then it was jelly making day! I was super surprised that the juice was pink. I expected red or yellow.
As per usual, first step was to prepare all the jars (no botulism for this girl!) and then prepare all the ingredients before the juice got boiling.
The process was pretty easy. Boil with sugar, add pectin, ladle into the hot jars, and process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.
What was really weird was that processing the jelly made it so that even out of the boiling water bath the jars continued to boil for minutes after. I thought I'd screwed it up, but no, it was just boiling sugar liquid in jars. Very very hot.
Sideways iPhone Video! Yay!
Anyways, outside the weather is actually frightful; and not terribly delightful; so instead I'll just stay inside; and stay alive, stay alive, stay alive.
Cheers! And Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or Whatever. <3
The Half-Assed Hobbyist