Sunday, July 28, 2013
Kudzu Flower Jelly!
Kudzu Flower Jelly
Plastic grocery bag of crab apples
Half grocery bag of Kudzu flowers (more for darker color)
2 T lemon juice
Clean the crab apples by removing the stem and the flower at the other end. If you let them sit on your counter for at least a day, the stems dry out and are easier to just pull off. If you get a stubborn one, when you cut the apple in half and it comes right out. You can also scrape the end flower bud off easily with your finger nail. (Just fyi, this can be done while hanging out with the kids watching television!)
Remove any blemishes on the apples and cut in half. As you cut in half, put the halves into a bowl of water to prevent turning brown.
Wash thoroughly the Kudzu blooms and remove the colored blooms from the stem. They come right off easily.
Drain your bowl of crab apples and put in a large pot. Add the blooms. Fill pot with water to just above the apples and blooms.
Bring to a boil and reduce temperature to simmer. Cook until apples a mushy (about 30 to 45 minutes). Using a potato masher or spoon, lightly mash the apples to help release the pectin.
Start your canner and water to boil. Mine takes about an hour to get to a boil so now is a good time to turn it on.
At this point, you can drain your mixture using a jelly bag over night, however, I am too impatient for that. Start with a spaghetti strainer and strain the large part parts out of your mixture. Add the leftover apple mush to your compost. Then move to a fine mesh strainer and strain juice twice. Finally, put coffee filters into your spaghetti strainer and then strain the juice. This takes about 10 minutes which is much easier than waiting overnight and works just as well.
Measure your juice. For every cup of juice, add a cup of sugar (or 3/4 cup if you prefer less sweet). Add two tablespoons of lemon juice. Bring to a boil, stir often. Boil until the mixture reaches 210°F on a candy thermometer, or until a small amount placed on a plate that has chilled in the freezer turns to gel. It should wrinkle on the surface and leave a trail if you run your finger through it. This should take about 20 minutes.
Fill your jars with the hot liquid and boil in a water bath for 10 minutes.
With this recipe, I produced about seven half pints.