Thread: Crabapple time
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:59 PM posted to
George Shirley[_3_] George Shirley[_3_] is offline
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On 9/1/2014 10:12 PM, zxcvbob wrote:
On 8/29/2014 6:17 PM, George Shirley wrote:
On 8/29/2014 5:57 PM, zxcvbob wrote:
I stopped by my favorite crabapple tree on the way home from work today.
There are almost as many crabapple trees here as there are Canada
geese, but AFAIK only one that has edible fruit. It's on the waste
water treatment plant driveway. Crabapples all over the ground
(apparently they ripened early this year) and smelling faintly of
vinegar, and the tree is sagging from the weight of all the fruit. It
rained today, and the apples still on the tree are starting to split.

I filled up the 12-pack-of-beer-bottles box that I had with me in just a
few minutes, crabapples falling on my head as I picked. I need to go
back and spread a sheet on the ground as I pick so I can collect the
freshly-fallen ones and leave the old ones.

A 12-pack, on the way home? G And here I thought you had died since we
haven't heard from you in a long time.

I'll steam-juice these tonight, and make jelly tomorrow or Sunday. I
don't eat much jelly at all, but my dad really likes it (these
crabapples make jelly that looks and tastes just like mayhaw) so I can
bring him a few pints next time I visit.


Run over to Tomball with a couple of jars too, I can trade some dewberry
and/or blackberry jelly or jam. My father-in-law had four apple trees,
red and gold delicious, plus a large crab apple tree. The best he made
with both types was hooch, he distilled that stuff until it was smooth
and would knock you out.

I just wish I had enough property to grow a few more fruit trees. So far
we've got a few figs, some kumquats, and no pears as yet. None of the
above have given enough to make jams or jellies other than the odd half
pint jar. I don't know if I can stay alive long enough to get a goodly
amount of fruit out of our orchard. Picking and paying for berries and
fruit at the pick-your-own farms is an expensive proposition.

Good to hear from you Bob.


I just pulled the first batch of crab apple jelly out of the canner, and
it's plinking as I write this. I'm making it with added pectin,
although the drops that I spilled on the stove before I added the pectin
jellied just fine without it...

Almost had a disaster. I put the 5 C of juice and 7 1/2 C sugar in a
big saucepan and started to cook it. About a 5 quart pan. Then I
remembered, "this is gonna foam up, isn't it?" I transferred it to an 8
quart pan, added the ounce of lemon juice (no idea why it needs lemon
juice cuz it's so sour already) and brought it to a hard boil. The 8 qt
pan was just big enough.

The citric acid helps with the setting of the jelly.

Added the Ball liquid pectin, boiled it hard for another minute and
turned the heat off but left it on the hot burner (gas stove with heavy
grates.) Skimmed the foam, ladled into jars, BWB, etc.

Now time to start the 2nd batch. I might use bigger jars this time.


P.S. I found a great way to remove the remnant of permanent adhesive
labels from a canning jar. A little brake fluid on some 0000 steel wool
takes it right off, and the brake fluid washes off a lot easier than
kerosene. We won't talk about why I had steel wool wet with brake fluid
handy in the kitchen...

I know the answer! You're from East Texas, probably working on a vehicle
brake system in the kitchen. Been there, done that. G

Jelly sounds good, I've never eaten crab apple jelly, just not any of
them growing nearby where I've lived. I've made "tuna" jelly from the
fruit of the prickly pear plant, aka cactus. Stains everything in the
kitchen including your hands.