Last week I climbed up a rickety old step-ladder and filled my basket with crab apples.
The crab apple tree in the wild garden has had a bumper year. Of course, all the lovely ripe red ones are at the top of the tree, which is tall and hasn't been pruned in a decade or two. But I gathered a decent amount, including some windfalls, and set about making crab apple and mint jelly.
Wikihow has a good explanation for how to do this (see http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Crab-Apple-Jelly) and my own version is below. My main problem was having insufficient pots and pans, which rather reminded me of my struggles to hand-extract wild honey. Anyway, I managed, and the end result is a delicious jelly, which I can enjoy with some roast lamb or pork during the winter months, and has already graced my morning toast, and sandwiched a Victoria sponge.
2. Place a muslin over a steel colander and drain the fruit for a few hours.
4. Boil gently until the jelly thickens. Some recipes say this only takes 10 mins, but it took me about 30 mins. You can test this by placing a small amount on a saucer and leaving it to cool or placing in the fridge. If it sets lightly, the jelly is ready. Add several mint strands, and infuse.
5. Ladle the warm jelly into sterile glass jars, seal, and leave to cool.