On Tuesday when I was making jam I got a text saying “Don’t put the jeely pan away, I’ve been picking crab apples” and on Wednesday morning, just in time for tea and scones with newly made jam, my friend arrived with a bucket of red crab apples. In the afternoon after the obligatory dog walking I got the jam pan out and set to while listening to Radio 4.
Then they were simmered until they were soft and the juice was running, the juice at this point is pale pink and cloudy.
In the morning the juice is measured and poured back into the jam pan with 1lb of sugar and 2tablespoons of lemon juice for every pint of crab apple juice. This mixture is simmered until all the sugar dissolves and then boiled for about 10 minutes until a set is achieved. While the juice is cooking I put the washed jars and lids in the top oven to sterilise . When the jam is at setting point the jars come out of the oven and the beautiful red jelly is carefully ladled into them. and left to cool. The jelly is delicious with cheese (or cold meats) and can be stirred into a casserole to add flavour and colour. It can also be eaten on bread, toast, scones and crumpets or a spoonful added to yoghurt. Alternatively you can just put the jars near the window and admire the sun shining through it!