The Great Crabapple Adventure, Part 1.

I started to deal with the crabapples from my friend today. The first step was sorting out the bad ones and rinsing everything…

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Filled up one side of my sink with cool water to clean them.

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Once they were rinsed off, I had to figure out what I was making… Easier said than done, especially having never really done anything with crabapples before!

I decided to be adventurous and start with crabapple jelly.

I halved 60 crabapples to start, throwing them into a large pot and half-covering with water.

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I then simmered the apples over medium-high heat for about 20 minutes. While that was happening, I had to figure out what to use for my “jelly-drip bag”. They’re actually sold, but I’m cheap frugal, so wound up using cheesecloth.

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Basically, the idea is that you’re going to let the apple-mush drip into a bowl for between six and eight hours. You’ll need to find somewhere to hang your “drip bag”.

I lined the bowl with the cheesecloth, and then slowly poured the cooked crabapples and liquid into it.

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I tied up the cheesecloth and hung it above the bowl to let it drip.

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It is important that you not squeeze the bag as this will make the liquid cloudy.

Carry on with your day until everything is thoroughly dripped (this is clearly a technical phrase).

Once this is done, figure out how much liquid you actually got. I wound up with about two-and-half cups.
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Add this to a pot, and then add honey. It should be about a half-cup per cup of liquid, so I added just over one cup of honey.

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Start over medium heat to dissolve the honey. While this is going, start preparing your jars (instructions are here, if you don’t know how).

Once the honey is dissolved, increase the heat to high to boil everything. When it boils, drop to medium-high and let simmer for about 25 minutes. As a note, the mixture will foam, and you should skim this off.

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When it was ready, the original volume that I had was down to about half. I poured the jelly mix into the prepared mason jars, put on the lids, and put them into a pot of boiling water for about five minutes to process.

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Let the jars sit for a few hours, and make sure they’ve sealed properly. If they have, you’re ready to store! If not, put in the fridge and use within a month.

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