Whether it’s kids selling chocolate bars or buckets being jangled at me in town, I’m a sucker for charity appeals. At a recent trip to the Hill Street Farmers Market in Wellington I succumbed to the charms of a young girl who had foraged for crab apples in her auntie’s orchard then bagged them up with a recipe for Crab Apple Jelly for a handsome amount. All in the cause of charity. She was fundraising for her school.
It will be a while before we can forage for crab apples in our garden. Although there were two apples on our Crab Apple Tree this year they were blown right off in a howling gale. For now I was excited to be experimenting with jelly making as another notch on my preserving post. The actual process of preservation is not difficult just time-consuming and you need lots of patience. Especially for making jelly which requires you to hang your fruit in a muslin cloth to drip feed its succulent juices overnight.
I have to admit that I was slightly concerned about this jelly – it tasted so sweet I wasn’t sure it would be much use. I was all ready to chalk it up to experience I was delighted this evening that a touch of crab apple jelly in the red wine jus with our loin of lamb tonight wasn’t overly sweet at all. In fact it had a touch of tartness that cut through the sweetness of the lamb and the pile of roasted vegetables freshly harvested tonight.
My only challenge now is how many jars of this delicious jelly I can give away. 2 kg of crab apples makes a lot of jelly, rather more than two people are ever going to be able to scoff in the foreseeable future.