Crab Apple Jelly


Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

Crab Apple Jelly
I am always amazed at the sight of wild crab apples hanging from autumnal branches in the woods where you least expect to see apples. Sometimes there is the sad site of a tree that has lost its load and there is a carpet of apples at its feet. Slowing fermenting in the late indian summer or being nibbled by muntjac deer. Too sour to eat raw they make a lovely jelly and combined with a few sloes or rosehips to add a red glow they form a work of art with the sun glinting through them on the kitchen shelf.

This is a delicious jelly to eat with lamb but can be a useful accompaniment to many dishes. The addition of sloes or rosehips will add a pleasant tinge of red to the jelly. You could also try cranberries. You could leave out the rosemary for a plainer version. You can also add a pint of cider vinegar which gives the jelly a bit of a kick.
A big bag of crab apples
2 hand fuls of rosehips or sloes
You will need to measure the resulting juices but about 3Ibs of sugar for 3 pints of liquid but this will depend on how much you obtain from your apples.
Sprigs of rosemary.

Every pint of liquid use a lb of sugar
Collect a bag of wild crab apples avoiding heavily bruised ones. About 3 lb.
Wash the apples and chop into quarters. Put them in a preserving pan and cover with water. Then cook until they all go soft and mash them up a bit with a wooden spoon.
Cook up the rosehips or sloes in a separate pan with water and cook until they go mushy and then add the mush to the main mix.
Pour all the mix into a jelly bag and leave overnight for the juice to drip out. You are left with a clear juice.
Simmer the liquid in a pan (about 20 minutes) with the sprigs of resemary to create an infusion then strain back into the preserving pan.
Measure the liquid and then add 1 lbs of sugar for every pint of liquid. Boil rapidly until a set is obtained. The sound of boiling will change and it goes frothy on top. Use a saucer from the freezer to test the set by putting a dropof the liquid back in the freezer for a minute or two to cool. Test to see if it has set.
Skim the liquid and then pour into heated jars. As they cool put a fresh sprig of rosemary into each jar for decoration.


Apple crumble


Originally uploaded by Mr_Chips

Apple crumble
Nick and Alison dropped round for tea on a Saturday afternoon and as we had a large piece of pork for dinner it was great to ask them to dinner as well. The only thing was – what could we have for a nice pudding. I looked in the freezer and found some apple that I had cooked in the summer and decided to make an apple crumble,

For the filling.
Cooking apples,
Raisins / sultanas.

8oz flour
4 oz butter or the equicalent olice oil
2 oz brown sugar
walnuts and some breakfast crunchy mix

Boil the apples with a little water. I cut them up first and add some sugar. I never weigh this out but just judge it but I think a couple of tablespoons of sugar for 4 apples is about right.
Add some raisins or sultanas.

Rub the oil or butter into the flour as though making pastry. Add the sugar and then you can be creative. Add some nuts, crushed walnuts work well and I like to add a little oats or breakfast mix.

Put together in a dish and put a few knobs of butter on top.

Bake at about 150C for 20 mins and then turn up to 180C for a few minutes to brown the top.

Serve with lashings of yoghurt – yummy.