This story started when Fumiko, a dear friend of mine gave me a bottle of crab apple jelly (paradisæble gelé in Danish), home made, of course. I had not tried it before. It looked beautiful: deep red, semi transparent and tasted bittersweet. I felt like making it myself.
Fumiko came by the other day with a sack of crab apples, she had just picked. I was so happy! I washed them well immediately and started to look for recipes on the internet. All of them were the same: remove the stems, cut them half, cook them in water. Pour the fruits into a cheesecloth and let it drain for a couple of hours without urging it. Boil the juice with an extremely big amount of sugar (1 l juice + 750-1000 g sugar) until it becomes jelly.
It sounds like a looong, boring process, and I do not like the idea of sugar overdosing, either. I rather wanted something fruity. I tasted a piece of raw crab apple: it was so sour, almost bitter, I wanted to preserve this aroma somehow.
I did not remove the stems, nor cut the fruits half. Just added some water and boiled it until the apples became soft. I came with a hand blender and mixed it well. Then I pressed the whole stuff through a metal sieve. Practically, I saved the all the fruits, it was just the stems and the core with the seeds I got rid of. It became 4000 g dollop. I added 1500 g sugar, warmed it up and boiled it for about 10 minutes, while stirred a couple of times. It became thick but was still liquid - I probably should have used less water in the beginning. Anyway, I added 2 spoons of pectin and cooked it for about 15 minutes. Then it started to become runny. The smell was wonderful and very strong: sour and bittersweet, a bit almond-like. Just before ladling it into jars, I suddenly got the idea of adding 1 dl rum to it - it turned to be very good idea.
It did not become a jelly, but a very nice, bit jelly-like jam. Intense, fruity, sweet enough, but not too sweet. I love it!