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Crabapple jelly, butter from backyard trees

This week's recipes include crabapple jelly and crabapple butter
From the Kitchen by Joyce Walter

The trees are showing the ripening crabapples and some tree owners are telling their friends to drop in to pick a box filled with the abundant supply of apples.

In addition to eating them the way they come, there are many ways to preserve that fresh fruit goodness for days when the fruit is no longer available on the tree.

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Crabapple Jelly

13 cups crabapples
2/3 cup sugar for each cup juice
1 tbsp. lemon juice for each cup apple juice

To make the juice from crabapples, stem and quarter apples. Place apples in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil gently, stirring frequently to prevent scorching, about 30 minutes. 

Pour cooked mixture into a damp jelly bag suspended over bowl to catch juice. Allow juice to drip for 6-8 hours or overnight. For a clear jelly, do not press or squeeze the bag. Set pulp aside.

Measure juice into a large pan. Add 2/3 cup sugar for each cup of juice. Add 1 tbsp. lemon juice for each cup of juice. Bring juice to a boil. Stir constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture returns to a full boil. Boil, stirring frequently to prevent scorching, about 20-30 minutes until mixture reaches gel stage.

Fill canner with water. Add 5 clean half-pint jars, cover and boil at least 10 minutes to sterilize jars. Boil snap lids about five minutes.

Remove jelly from heat and skim foam off top using a metal spoon.

Quickly pour jelly into jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe clean, apply lids and screw on bands just until fingertip tight. Place jars in canner.

Cover and return water to a boil. Process for five minutes. Remove jars and cool for 24 hours. Label and store in a cool, dark place.

• • •

Crabapple Butter

6 cups crabapple pulp
grated rind and juice of 1 large orange
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsps. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Sterilize 7 clean half-pint jars. Press the pulp that has been set aside from making the crabapple jelly through a sieve. Combine sieved crabapple pulp, orange rind and juice in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Combine sugar, cinnamon, cloves and ginger and stir into fruit and return to a boil. Boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and is translucent, about 10-20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Ladle butter into sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch head space. Remove air bubbles by sliding a rubber spatula between glass and food. Readjust head space. Wipe rims and sides of jars. Place on sterilized lids. Return jars to canner, cover and return water to a full boil. Process for 10 minutes. Remove from canner and cool for 24 hours. Store in cool, dark place.

Joyce Walter can be reached at


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