The Crabapple Disaster

We have a crabapple (crab apple? both ways seem to be acceptable) tree in the yard. It’s pretty pitiful-looking, kind of like the Charlie-Brown-Christmas-tree of crabapple trees:

crab apple treeBut although it doesn’t look like much, it does have a talent for producing crabapples. It produced a veritable slew of them. And me, being me, hated to just see them mowed up or otherwise wasted.

They looked like a pain to cut up for a pie. I doubted they’d be much good to eat. But, a bit of internet searching found an answer for me:  Crab Apple Jelly!

I gathered up my apples and went to work following the recipe, encouraged by the glowing comments it had received. Having made a lot of freezer jam, I was a little suspicious about the recipe requiring no pectin (It should require no commercial pectin, since crab apples are naturally high in pectin), but hey – I’m always up for an adventure.

apples in the sinkHere are some of the little suckers, cut into fourths and ready to go into the kettle.

I finished the recipe, and then came the waiting part – as in, waiting to see the jelly thicken:

crab apple jellyReaders, it never happened.

And so, I now have three containers of admittedly aromatic apple liquid in my fridge. What to do? Sometimes, jelly “flops” can be reincarnated as ice cream topping. But apple liquid ice cream topping? That’s a stretch. I’ve used a bit to sub for sugar in flavoring/sweetening chai tea. And, maybe I could use some in place of sugar in apple pies – although it might be too runny.

I’m curious to know how those other commenters’ jellies all jelled so well and came out so great. Me, I’m just sitting here with my labor-intensive apple juice :).



5 thoughts on “The Crabapple Disaster

  1. I’m sorry! I’d be ticked about all the sugar I added to something that flopped.

  2. Thanks for joining us, Susan!

    You know, I never truly trust the no-pectin jellies – it just doesn’t seem right! (Though I did do the apricot jam last summer, and it was good – but still mighty soft!)

    I wonder – I used to use a powdered pectin called Pomona’s. (Alliteration anyone?) Basically, the idea was to be able to use as much or as little sugar as you wanted – maybe re-making the jelly would help?

    Or, oh, hey! When I was a teenager, my mother had a failed batch of raspberry jelly – which I remember using on pancakes (it was the same consistency as syrup), and she even swirled some into vanilla ice cream.

    Or if all else fails, you could add it to some vodka for your very own apple-tinis! 😆

  3. Or hey, what about making something like a jello cake (where you make the cake, poke holes in it, and dump liquid jello over it) – and using the apple syrup instead? Maybe some kind of caramel-pecan frosting, and you’re good to go . . .

    Maybe, if it’s not thick enough, whisk it into a bit of melted butter and reduce it, THEN pour it over ice cream? (I love butter.)

  4. I think you could add some water and drink it.
    When my strawberry freezer did not thicken, I put it on the radio on Dial A Deal and called it strawberry ice cream topping. A local cop bought it and in later years, more than once, he’s asked me if I had anymore for sale.

    When life gives you crabapples – drink crabapple juice!

    Didn’t Sure Jel have a recipe?

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