Crab Apple and Cinnamon Jelly Jam (without Pectin)
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Here's a flexible crab apple jelly recipe that can be made from any amount of apples. Sugar is added in ratios based on the amount of juice extracted and then boiled until it sets.
This recipe has a hint of cinnamon which is optional but it does give a lovely warmth and depth to the jelly, and can be enjoyed with cheese or on gluten-free toast!
20 Minutes + overnight draining
1 basket crab apples, washed, stems and blossoms removed and halved.
1 lemon, juiced
1 cinnamon stick
You will also need:
Cheesecloth / muslin, for draining fruit
Jam funnel (optional but beneficial!)
Wash the apples, removing the stems, blossoms and any bruised areas, then cut in half.
Put all the fruit in a large saucepan, and fill with water until just coverd.
Bring to the boil then reduce to a light simmer until the fruit is soft. (approx. 30-40 minutes)
Place a sieve over another large saucepan with the cheesecloth over it and then pour the pulp into the muslin and let drip overnight into a pan. You must not squeeze the bag as it will make the juice cloudy.
Place a large spoon or small dish in the freezer for later.
When drained, weigh the juice, and to this add the sugar in the ratio of 10 parts juice to 7 parts sugar.
Over a medium-high heat, stir to dissolve and add the lemon juice, cinnamon stick then bring to the boil.
Keep at a rolling boil for 40 minutes, stiring occasionally and skimming off the froth taking care not to burn the bottom.
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 160C and place the jars on a tray to steralise for 10-15 minutes.
To test if the jelly is set, take the spoon or dish out the freezer, pour 1 tsp of hot jelly in and freeze for 1 minute. Remove from freezer, it is ready when the surface wrinkles when the edge is pushed with a finger. If surface doesn't wrinkle, continue cooking and repeat test every few minutes.
Remove the cinnamon stick, then pour into your hot, sterilised preserving jars and tightly seal while still warm.
Check after a 6 hours if the jar lids have collapsed inward. If they have, it means the suction has worked and your jars are ready for storage in the fridge or a cool dark place.
If the suction hasn't worked on some or all, you will need to repeat the process again by warming up the jelly in a saucepan and the clean jars in the oven.
To steralise the jars, preheat the oven to 160C. Remove lids and put them in a bowl with boiling water for a few minutes, remove and dry with a clean cloth. Then place the empty jars on a baking tray and leave in the oven for 10 minues. When the jelly is ready, very carefully remove the tray with the jars and use the funnel and ladel the jelly in. Seal the lids immediately and leave to cool.
What to do if your jelly doesn't set after 24 hours? It could be that you didn't boil it long enough. No worries, simply pop the contents back in to your pot and re-boil until it sets, checking again with the frozen plate test. If you want to be certain it's going to set the second time, you could also add some commercial pectin in with the second boil.
SERVE THIS WITH.
Crab apples - contain many nutrients including fibre, vitamin C and various powerful plant compounds. They contain a natural pectin, a type of fibre that acts as a prebiotic which means it feeds the good bacteria in your gut. (Source)
Lemon juice - will help preserve the jam but also bring a tartness to balance the sweet. They are also high in heart-healthy vitamin C and several beneficial plant compounds.(Source)
Ceylon (True) Cinnamon - not only gives a lovely warmth to this jelly, but it's loaded with powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.(Source)
HAVE YOU MADE THIS?
Many of my recipes call for Greek products like Greek extra virgin olive oil, Greek honey or Greek oregano. It is not mandatory for it to be Greek in order to make the recipe, you are more than welcome to use a good quality alternative; just keep in mind if you are after the authentic flavours of Greece these details do make all the difference in Greek cuisine. You can shop these ingredients here.
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Disclaimer: None of the health benefits listed are intended to diagnose or treat any pre-existing health conditions. Always consult a health care practitioner before making any health decisions. The benefits listed are from my own research and personal interest, and encourage you to follow the Source and do further research.