Pacific Crabapples – free for the taking and the jelly-making
Crab apples have a bad name. They are, after all, the punier, less polished and tarter version of their infamous cousins.
And yet, just ask Pemberton’s black bears to vouch for the common crab apple. The 22 mature crab apple trees lining the route into the village have been a favourite feasting ground for the local bears, so much so that it’s become a growing problem. ~ Pique Newsmagazine,
Along Portage Road, 20 bountiful crab apple trees are planted in memory of local veterans. Instead of removing the trees, which attract bears and lead to human-bear conflict, Stewardship Pemberton, with funding support from the Community Foundation of Whistler, initiated the Feasting for Change project. The result? Crabapple jelly. And that’s just the tangible part.
Wash crabapples. Remove stem and blossom ends. Do not peel or core. To prepare juice, combine crabapples with enough water to cover in a Dutch oven. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until crabapples are soft. Mash crabapples occasionally while cooking. Strain through a jelly bag. Measure juice and pour into large saucepan. Add 3/4 cup (175 ml) sugar for each cup (250 mL) of juice. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil rapidly until jelly stage is reached, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and skim foam. Pour into hot sterilized half-pint (250 ml) or pint (500 ml) jars, leaving 1/4 inch (6 mm) headspace. Wipe jar rims thoroughly with a clean damp cloth. Seal and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Try glazing pork roast with crab apple jelly, spreading it on toast or bagels in the morning, or with cream cheese and crackers.
Note: Work with a maximum of 6 cups (1.5 L) juice at a time.