Armed with a ladder, and wearing a pareo (because it was cloyingly hot) and sandals with 3" heels, ('cause those were beside the front door and didn't involve laces), I'm sure I was a sight to behold. Something like "The Housewives of Beverly Hills" meets "Green Acres", starring yours truly. I picked about 3 kg of crab apples. That ended up being a whole lot of crab apples to quarter and stem. Since we don't spray our fruit trees, the crab apples are imperfect, and I tried to be as diligent as possible in cutting out any softened or bug-infested parts. (That's also my way of saying there could have been a worm or two in the pot. I'm sure the heat killed them).
3 kilos is a lot of crab apples:
Bernardin website. It says 2.5 kg of crab apples are about 56. I don't know if those come from Three Mile Island, but I must have picked closer to 256 to make that amount.
Once quartered, stemmed and with the bloom removed, I added 5 cups of water to the pot. In retrospect, I should have added more:
I lined a colander with a clean muslin cloth, and dumped the whole mixture in. I think I ended up with about 4 cups of juice the next morning, because I needed to add about 1 cup of water to make the 5 cups of juice necessary to make the jelly. Another Canadian Living recipe said I could, okay? I added 7 cups of sugar, and one pack of liquid pectin, following the instructions that came in the Certo box. (And can you tell I'm making all of this up as I go along?) Flying by the seat of my pareo is my specialty.
On the CL website, someone commented to use slightly under-ripe apples, as these contained more pectin but less water. This might have accounted for me having to add a bit of water to make up the difference. I did some google-fu and couldn't corroborate this information, but I'm running with it anyhow.
In the end, I made 8 - 250 mL (half pint) jars of pretty pink crab apple jelly:
I'm sure the pareo and heels didn't hurt, either.