Sorry I haven't updated in a while. It's harvest season. The berries, the mushrooms, all those other things wild and cultivated that my family picks and creates the jams, sauces, syrups and jellies we use through out the year and give to our friends. Also, I'm going to do something weird and give you the recipe before the back story.
This is actually a TECHNIQUE and a recipe both. The technique is for easily juicing the crab apples.
Juicing the crab apples in an Instant Pot
This method will not be as clear as traditional juicing methods, more of a "cider" than a juice.
You will need:
- 10 lbs of crab apples- ornamental are fine, we used ornamental for this batch
- water to cover
- Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker
Prep apples by removing stems. For larger crab apples, you can cut them in half too. Seeds and skins will be discarded with the pulp, but can add natural pectin to the finished jelly.
- 9 cups of juice. Measure out your juice, add water to make 9 cups if necessary
- 1/4 cup of lemon juice
- 11 cups of sugar
- pinch each allspice, cinnamon and either mace or nutmeg (we used mace, I'm very fond of that vintage spice)
- 2 packages of pectin- we used powdered Sure-Jell
Crab apples are pretty new in our harvesting. Last year at a virtual plant symposium, someone told me approximately where her Dad had planted crab apple trees decades ago. My daughter went out exploring and found them and also found out that other people weren't picking them. Over the course of the next few weeks, she and her brother picked about 30 lbs of them. They were dried, used in pie, used for jellies and apple butter.
Those trees aren't ready yet. But a friend of our offered to let TG and William pick at her house and they got 16 lbs total! We gave some to a friend, and used the rest to make this jelly.
It's delicious. This would be amazing with moose, caribou, or if you're down south, venison. It's also a natural for pork. The sweet, tart, spiced combination is a natural with sharp cheese too.