Sunday, July 25, 2010

Country Deer & Crab Apple Jelly


I never get tired of the view from my windows.  I spotted this Momma deer and her little one munching on crab apples.  I hope they leave me some for jelly!

Crab Apple Jelly

Set out a large, heavy sauce pot, six 8-oz. jelly glasses and a jelly bag.  You can make a jelly bag by cutting a double thickness of cheesecloth about 36 in. long and fold it in half.  Dip the cloth into hot water and wring well.  Put a large strainer or colander over a bowl and lay the cloth in the strainer or colander.

Rinse, remove stem ends and cut into quarters enough crab apples to make 3 quarts chopped.  Do not remove cores or peel.  Add to pot with 3 cups water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender.  Remove mixture and strain through jelly bag. 

Wash and sterilize jelly glasses. (see below) When juice has strained through jelly bag, melt over simmering water about 1/4 lb. paraffin.  Measure 4 cups of juice into the sauce pot.  Put sauce pot water over high heat and heat until very hot.  Add 3 cups sugar.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Continue cooking rapidly until sirup responds to jelly test (see below).  Remove from heat and skim off any foam. Immediately fill the drained jelly glasses and cover with paraffin.  (see below)

Jelly Test – Dip spoon into boiling liquid; lift it out and tip it to allow mixture to run over edge.  At first, the sirup will run off in a thin stream.  When the last two drops in the spoon run together or ‘sheet’ the mixture should be removed from the heat.  Always remove the pan from the heat while testing.

Sterilize Jars or Glasses – Put a rack or folded dish towel onto bottom of large sauce pot or kettle.  Place clean jars or glasses on the rack or towel.  Pour boiling water over them and boil 15 minutes, keeping jars or glasses covered with water at all times; if more water is needed, add boiling water.  Drain jars or glasses – using long-handled tongs, carefully remove one jar or glass at a time and thoroughly drain.  Set right side up on coiling rack away from drafts.

Seal with Paraffin – Immediately after draining glasses, pour the mixture to within 1/2 in of top.  With a clean, damp cloth or paper towel, remove any particles of food that may be on the inside of glass above surface of mixture.  Immediately pour enough melted paraffin onto the top of mixture to make a layer about 1/.8 in. thick on each glass.  When paraffin has cooled completely, pour enough melted paraffin over the first layer to make another layer about 1/8 in thick.  Carefully tilt glasses to distribute paraffin evenly over the top and seal it to edges of the glass. Cool glasses away from drafts.  Label and cover glasses; store in a cool, dry place.

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