We hacked back a tree loaded with crabapples. I couldn't bear to not use some of them so I pick crabapples off the cut branches. The rest were hauled away. Sniff. If I had known the jelly was going to be so good I would have picked the rest. It would have taken me weeks but I maybe would have possible kind of done that. I didn't have enough juice for a second batch so I threw in some canned peach juice that had been sitting in the fridge for about a month. It was still wasn't enough. Tart cherry juice topped it off.
Apple or Crabapple Jelly
Makes 10-12 cups
7 cups prepared juice (buy about 5 lbs. apples or crabapples
5 cups water
1 box SURE-JELL Fruit Pectin
1/2 tsp. butter or margarine
9 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
IF USING A CANNER, BRING boiling-water canner, half full with water, to simmer. See alternative open kettle method below.
WASH jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.
REMOVE stems and blossom ends from unpeeled washed apples. Core apples; cut into small pieces. Not necessary for crabapples. Place in large saucepan; add water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 min., stirring occasionally. Crush cooked apples; cover and simmer 5 min. Place three layers of damp cheesecloth or a jelly bag in large bowl. Pour prepared fruit into cheesecloth. Tie cheesecloth closed; hang and let drip into bowl until dripping stops. Press gently. Measure exactly 7 cups prepared juice into 6- or 8-qt. saucepot. (If needed, add up to 1/2 cup water for exact measure.)
I highly recommend using a Nutri-Steamer. It is so easy compared with the above method. All you do is place the washed crabapples in the basket, steam them for 90 min. then collect the juice.
STIR pectin into juice in saucepot. Add butter to reduce foaming. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 min., stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.
LADLE immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. With a small spoon skim off remaining foam. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly.
Here I just flip the jars upside down (open kettle method) and let them cool for 12 hours. Flip the jars over and test seals. There will be space at the bottom with this technique.
Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 5 min. Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. (If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)