Near my home there is a large crab apple tree. I never noticed that it was a crab apple but had noticed the tree itself. I was overjoyed when I realized what it was. I had originally planned to ferment some of them on the counter, not for booze but as a pickle of sorts. There had been talk of it in a fermentation group I am in on Facebook.
Life being busy this time of year I didn’t get out to the tree for a good four weeks. The fruit was still firm, some still with a pink blush but they were very spotty. I decided to use them for pectin instead. I didn’t use any one recipe in particular, just read through a few on Pinterest and Google.
I will mention one sight in particular, The American Preppers Network, because of the rubbing alcohol trick.
Also as of this posting I haven’t used the pectin in a recipe, I will make a post dedicate to it shortly.
The steps are simple:
1.) Wash and clean your crab apples. I trimmed off the bottom ends because they were just little dry bits anyways and the stems, along with any bruised or worm eaten bits.
2.) Place in a pot big enough to hold the fruit plus water. I had about 3-4 pounds of fruit and added 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and let gently boil for 30-40 minutes. About half way through I mushed them up with a potato masher. I had to add a bit of water at the end, had the consistency of chunky apple sauce.
*Don’t mind my dinner in the background of the first photo!
3.) Once the fruit is done cooking you strain the whole mess through muslin cloth or when in a pinch or on a tight budget a clean old t-shirt will do. I let mine sit overnight to train. I did give it a few stirs initially but don’t push at the mixture or you will get cloudy pectin.
4.) Final step is to test the strength of the pectin. Fill a shot glass about 3/4 full of rubbing alcohol. Add one teaspoon of your pectin. If it congeals enough to be picked up with a fork then it is ready! If not bring to a boil and reduce until it does as described.