Sugar and Pectin Free Crab Apple Jelly

I’ve been wanting to make a sugar-free/pectin-free and after a quick Google search, I thought I’d try this recipe.  Because I love experimenting with food and recipes, I made some tweaks to it.  Here’s what I did.

1. I boiled 4 quarts of crab apples for about twenty minutes.  Next time I’ll add cinnamon sticks to it to make my house smell even more amazing than it did.

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Look at that lovely juice!

2. After boiling, I put some apple into a sifter and began pressing them with a spoon to squeeze out the lovely pulp.

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See that brightly coloured pulp?

3. As I pressed the apples, the pulp and applesauce mixed with each other in the bowl, so then I put over top of a pot, taped the sides so it wouldn’t move, and dumped the applesauce into it.  I stirred the applesauce slowly and the pulp start to drip into the pot.  The cheese cloth prevented any applesauce from getting through.

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4. Once I pressed all the applesauce and all my pulp was in the pot, I added ¼ cup lemon juice, 1 cup organic apple juice, ½ cup water, 1 ⅓ cups raw, farmer’s market honey.  Turn it on to medium heat to boil.  If you turn it on high, it will boil over and you not only lose a ton of jam, it is VERY difficult to clean afterwards.

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6. I boiled it for the recommended amount of time, dumped it into the mason jars, then sealed it by boiling it in a pot of boiling water.  My jelly did NOT set.  It was a beautiful clear liquid that when mixed with sparkling water tasted like pop, but it was not spreadable at all.

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My jelly, applesauce and crab apple liquor!

7. The next day I decided to try again.  This is where I changed things a bit.  I poured all the jelly back into a pot and boiled it on medium heat for about a half an hour!  Once it started to look like it was frothing, I took it off and watched as it thickened before my eyes.  I poured it into mason jars and it set beautifully!  It’s quite a bit thicker than I expected, but definitely spreadable and better than liquid!

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It’s not nearly as clear as before I gave it a 30 minute boil, but it is set and ready to enjoy during the winter!

This week I am pickling carrots and beans!  Next month I’m attending a fermenting class and hope to ferment foods all winter long!

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