Monday, August 23, 2010
The tree in our backyard is a huge and beautiful crab apple. It's about 50 years old and wasn't necessarily trimmed properly for those 50 years, leaving us with branches threatening power lines and blocking sunlight to the garden. Two summers ago however we gave it a pretty solid trimming, and took off one more large limb last summer before it game out of it's winter slumber. The task however left us with a thrillingly healthy tree of epic proportions for last year...so healthy in fact that I threw out over 10 000 crab apples last year after the tree bloomed and bloomed and bloomed. And I made two batches of crab apple jelly then too.
This year has been less sunny and more wet so the tree is simply producing to proportions that we can manage however I still don't want to throw away food unnecessarily. I'll be making jelly again (I created a fantastic sauce for pork roast using last years batch) but wanted to use up more apples. Figuring that crab apples are simply small tart apples I came up with the following sauce, which is simply amazing. We ate one jar with pork chops tonight and I canned the rest in half pint jars.
Crab Apple Sauce
9 cups crab apple pieces (skin left on, blossom ends and cores removed)
water to cover (3ish cups)
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 TBSP lemon juice
1 1.2 tsp cinnamon
Bring crab apples and water to a boil. Cook until apples soften then coarsely mash with potato masher. Add sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Cook another 10 minutes on medium-high heat. Use immersion blender to puree into sauce. Continue cooking until desired consistency reached (if not thick enough for your tastes, add another cup or two of diced crab apple).
Ladle hot sauce into hot jars leaving 1/2" headspace. Remove any air bubbles, wipe lids of jars. Center hot lids onto jars. Apply screwbands until finger tip tight. Place jars in canner ensuring that the water level is at least two inches above jar tops. Process jars for 20 minutes (Calgary altitude). Remove jars and set aside to cool.
Makes 9 half pint jars.
**Canning instructions here are not fully detailed, if not an experienced canner, refer to general canning safety rules regarding processing times, etc.