My neighbour has a crab apple tree, and he told me I was welcome to pick apples if I wanted some. When it comes to crab apples, they are pretty much good for one thing – canning. Crab apples have excellent natural pectin, and set up to a gorgeous jelly!
When I first made this recipe, I put it into pint jars, and ended up with only 3 jars. So I recommend to use the 4 oz jar, so that you can give more as gifts, or enjoy it in smaller batches. Or just to feel like you didn’t work your butt off for 3 jars.
Homemade jelly makes a great gift, paired with a bottle of white wine and some nice crackers. It says “I love you enough to slave over a hot stove AND buy you wine.”
This jelly isn’t fiery hot. If you want more spice, use hotter peppers (not more peppers, just the hotter variations). I used banana type peppers and ended up with a full flavoured, but very mild jelly. Colin said it was good, but he would have loved for me to use something hotter. Some varieties are jalapeño, serrano, or habanero if you are brave enough. I’m not. I am, admittedly, a total wuss about spicy food.
This jelly is delicious with cream cheese on a cracker. I’m sure it is great on chicken, or other uses, but I will likely eat all of it on a Triscuit with cream cheese.
Crab Apple Pepper Jelly:
This recipe makes 6 of the 4oz jar size (that’s the smallest one)
2 lbs crab apples
1 1/2 cups water
Red wine vinegar, as required
3 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup yellow or orange bell pepper
1/3 cup hot pepper (as desired for flavour and heat level)
1. In a Dutch oven, bring crab apples and water to a simmer. Make sure to remove stems. I also cut them in half to speed up the cooking time.
2. Cook until the crabapple are very soft.
3. Line a colander with cheesecloth (the more you fold over the cheesecloth, the clearer your jelly will be). Place colander above a bowl (preferably glass).
4. Pour the crabapple mixture into the colander and weigh down with a plate and heavy can on top.
5. Let stand until dripping stops. Discard the pulp.
6. Pour collected juice into a liquid measure. Add enough vinegar to make 3 cups.
7. Combine in a saucepan with sugar.
8. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
9. Add peppers and boil for 8-10 minutes or until set. (How do I know if it is set? Insert link)
10. Stir for 7 minutes to avoid floating peppers.
11. Pour jelly into hot, sterilized 4oz canning jars.
12. Seal with 2 piece canning lids. Process in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes (adjust as required for elevation).
13. Let the processed jars sit for 24 hours undisturbed. Check for the seal to stay down when pressed prior to storing.
This recipe is originally from food.com