Crabapple is my favourite jelly, hands down. The perfect balance of tart and sweet. A distinct, local flavour sitting in the pantry all year.
The following recipe works well for the Dolgo crabapples we get from Lisa’s dad’s backyard. I imagine there is huge variation in sweetness, acidity, and pectin content in crabapples across the region, so I can’t say for certain if this will work for you. But it’s a good base recipe.
For the record, I don’t core the apples. I don’t even stem them. I remove leaves, if I find it convenient. I mash with a fork and strain through a jelly-bag, so the seeds and stems don’t end up in the jelly. Pressing cider with Kevin … Continue reading.
I know: jellies aren’t hip. When I say “fruit jelly” you immediately think of your great aunt, or possibly high tea at the Fairmont Empress. Jellies are stuffy.
I love jellies for three reasons: one, they’re tasty and I eat them for breakfast; two, they’re extremely handy to have in the pantry, to stir into sauces or inject into doughnuts; three, they are beautiful, visually and conceptually. Actually they’re a bit like headcheese, conceptually: the cook extracts a natural thickener from the main ingredient, then concentrates it to form a network that gives the food a unique, wobbly texture.
If that piqued your interest even remotely, please, read on.
The Chemistry of Jellies
Lets start at the beginning. Unlike … Continue reading.
When rose flowers wither and fall from the plant, they leave behind a little green ball called a rose hip. In late summer those hips swell and turn red, and start to look like berries.
They are not berries, as you will discover if you open one up. Rosehips are full of seeds and what looks like white hair. If eaten raw those hairs will irritate your mouth and throat. Don’t eat those hairs raw. The fleshy part around the seeds and hair can be eaten raw. It has an interesting flavour; depending on the plant and the time of year it can taste like fresh cut grass, or a tomato, or possibly a plum.
Though rose hips can be … Continue reading.