It’s been a while since I made a good old-fashioned homemade jelly. I went through a phase a few years ago when we had a quince tree in our backyard and were also getting a lot of apples in our CSA box. I made a lot of jams and jellies with an apple base so I didn’t have to use pectin.
I have a friend here in London with a crabapple tree on her front lawn and she said I could come pick them when they were ready. Well, they didn’t grow quite as well this year as in years past, and when the kids and I went to pick we didn’t get a very good crop. So we said ‘better luck next year’ and left it at that.
A couple weeks later I was taking my daughter to her swimming lesson and as I went around the car to get her out I saw that we were parked right beside a big crabapple tree that was FULL of bright red crabapples. Cue the lightbulb. When we came out of the community centre I grabbed a bag from our trunk and we started picking. Since it was a community space I figured it would be okay. I noticed a few people in the parking lot who were probably wondering what the heck we were doing, but nobody came over to question it so we filled the bag and set off.
It ended up being the perfect amount for a batch of jelly. It was really fun to go through the jelly making process again, trying to get it into the jars at just the right point. My daughter has been very excited to have this pink jelly on her toast every morning, and she helped me take a jar to our friends as well. I hope we’ll still have better luck next year with our friends’ tree, but if we don’t we know where to find some!