There’s something truly magical about turning the bounty of nature into delicious homemade preserves. We have a few crabapple trees on our property and I was eager to turn them into something delicious! Crabapple jelly, with its vibrant color and tangy-sweet flavor, is a perfect example of this culinary delight. Whether you’re an experienced canner or a newbie in the world of preserving, this easy water bath canning crabapple jelly recipe will have you crafting jars of goodness in no time.
• 4 cups fresh Crabapples, washed and stems removed
• 4 cups water
• 4 cups Organic Granulated Sugar
• Juice of 1 Organic Lemon
• Canning jars with lids
Step 1: Prep the Crabapples
Start by cutting the crabapples in half and removing the seeds. This step helps release their natural flavors during the cooking process.
Step 2: Cook the Crabapples
In a generously sized pot, combine the halved crabapples and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Allow the crabapples to cook for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until they become soft and tender.
Step 3: Extract the Juice
Mash the softened crabapples using a potato masher or fork. This will help release the vibrant juices locked within the fruit. Next, place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and strain the mixture to extract the luscious crabapple juice. You should be left with about 4 cups of juice that form the base of your jelly.
Step 4: Enhance the Flavor
Return the extracted juice to the pot and introduce a burst of citrusy freshness by squeezing in the juice of a lemon. Allow the mixture to come to a rolling boil.
Step 5: Add Sweetness
Gradually introduce the granulated sugar into the boiling juice while stirring consistently. The sugar should dissolve completely into the mixture. Continue boiling until the mixture reaches the gel point, which typically occurs around 220°F (105°C) as indicated by a candy thermometer.
Step 6: Prepare the Jars
While the jelly mixture is cooking, prepare your canning jars and lids by giving them a thorough wash in hot, soapy water. Sterilize the jars to ensure your jelly stays fresh. Do not use jars right out of the box without sterilizing and washing them!
Step 7: Achieve the Gel Point
Once your crabapple jelly reaches the desired consistency, remove it from the heat. The mixture should coat the back of a spoon and show signs of thickening.
Step 8: Jar the Jelly
Carefully ladle the hot crabapple jelly into the prepared canning jars, leaving approximately ¼ inch of space at the top of each jar. This space allows for proper sealing and expansion during the canning process.
Step 9: Seal and Process
Wipe the rims of the jars to ensure they are clean and free from any residue. Place the lids on the jars and screw on the bands until they are fingertip-tight. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for about 10 minutes. This step ensures a secure seal and extends the shelf life of your homemade jelly.
Step 10: Cool and Store
Once the processing time is complete, carefully remove the jars from the water bath using tongs. Place them on a clean towel or cooling rack to cool completely. As the jars cool, you’ll likely hear the satisfying “ping” of the lids sealing shut. Check the seals by pressing down on the center of the lids – if they do not flex, your jars are properly sealed. Label your crabapple jelly jars with the date and store them in a cool, dark place.
With just a few simple steps, you’ve created jars of Organic homemade crabapple jelly that’s bursting with natural flavors. This delightful treat is not only a testament to your culinary prowess but also a perfect gift for friends and family. Enjoy the sweet rewards of your labor as you spread this vibrant jelly on toast, pastries, or even as a gourmet addition to your favorite Dinner and Breakfast dishes. Happy preserving! 🍎🍏
-Masha at Mockingbird Homestead