Friday, September 24, 2010

More food for free

Last Sunday we parked the truck in Tuffins car park and I pointed out the crab apple tree a couple of spaces away to the Glam.Ass. Absolutely laden. What gorgeous autumnal bounty.

I was back there yesterday - buying some of the drink for the Grand Opening of Marton's new Village Hall. There must have been some pretty wild weather between my two visits because the crab apples which were on the tree were now mostly on the ground.

 
What's a gal to do? Well, find a carrier bag that's what and start picking them up. I felt a bit conspicuous at first - grubbing around in the margins of the car park - but my inner exhibitionist took over I and thought 'what the heck - these are credit crunched times and this is food for free. I'm damned if the squirrels are getting it.'

I returned home with 8lbs of fruit, a bit of grit and gravel and a few old leaves - nothing that a quick wash and a good rolling boil wasn't going to sort out. Into the pan with just enough water to cover the fruit and a slow simmer until the apples 'fell'. Knackered, gnarly, nobbly fruits but ah! Such promise. Their fragrance fills the room.


Then it's time to call for assistance - ladler extrodinaire the Glam. Ass. transfers mushy fruit from pan to jelly bag to drip overnight.  Do note how I insist my assistant wears a colour co-ordinated costume. (Oh look! In the picture below the Glam.Ass's pork pie has crept into the picture. What a poser it is!)
Add sugar - a bit too much but we'll gloss over my error - a short boil because these little fruits are high in pectin and are just desperate to set, skim and we have jelly. 14-and-a-bit jars of jewel-like crab apple jelly. Well done me.

10 comments:

rachel said...

Well done you indeed! I'm watching the crab apples in the park, but they are taking forever to ripen..... Crab apple jelly is worth making for the colour alone, I think.

Mrs Jones said...

Wow! I am IN AWE at the size of your jelly bag! It's like the Mother of All Jelly Bags! Mine is so not worthy! (Can you tell I'm overcome?)

Frances said...

Well done on the apple rescue front! I am taken back to a childhood memory of crab apple jelly. It is not so readily available over here in New York. Perhaps I will find some at my next visit to the farmer's market. (Somehow, I know that your version will taste much better.)

xo

Twiglet said...

Well Tuffins is certainly full of surprise bargains but even I didn't notice that one!!! The jelly looks fab and so does the matching Glam Ass and his pork pie!

bayou said...

mmmhhh, this looks so delightful! Great teamwork. Not an apple or crab apple year here.

Nikki-ann said...

Well done you indeed! I was only at Tuffins today, but I didn't get a bargain like that! :D

elizabethm said...

Gorgeous! I love making jellies and food for free is excellent. I haven't tried crab apple yet but maybe I should by the look of yours!

Pondside said...

I can't get over that incredible jelly bag - nothing quite like it over here. Another fabulous thing to add to my ever-growing list of fabulous kitchen things from away.
Well done!

Kirsty.a said...

Impressive. What do you do with crab apple jelly? Is a jam to spread on toast or like apple sauce for pork? Forgive the ignorance of a born and bred townie!

mountainear said...

Kirsty - eat it with 'white' meats - poultry or pork. I'm sure it would be good on toast too. I've also used it as a base for a sauce to go with quickly fried chicken livers (add a bit of hot pepper for extra piquancy) and I think if I hadn't got any apricot glaze for little fruit tartlettes I could melt a little jelly and brush it on them

A versatile thing!