Remove the stems from the crab apples and, if you like, the blossom end. Chop them up; you don't have to peel or pare them, the peel is what gives the rosy color to the jelly. Put them in a heavy bottomed pan and add the water. Cook, stirring often for 20 minutes, or until they are just barely tender.
Put a colander on a large bowl and line the colander with two layers of cheesecloth. The bowl should be just big enough for the colander to rest on top of it, leaving plenty of space for the juice to drain into it, but the bottom of the colander should not be in the juice. Don't squish or press the apples, this will make the jelly cloudy instead of nice and clear.
Measure 4 cups of juice, add to pot, and stir the sugar in well. Place over high heat and boil, stirring often, until the jelly sheets, or reaches 228 degrees F on a jelly thermometer.
Remove the jelly from the heat and skim any foam off. Remove the cinnamon stick, if used. Pour into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe the rims and adjust the two piece lids. Process in boiling water canner, 5 minutes for pints and half pints.
By Free2B from North Royalton, OH
Other than my citrus marmalades, crabapple jelly and red currant jelly are my two favorite toast-toppers. And there are no jellies which go with peanut butter better than crabapple jelly. I so seldom see it in the stores anymore, and never see crabapples growing anywhere. We had them in Michigan, but I've never seen them growing in Florida at all.
I think a combination of Gala and Granny Smith apples might come close to the flavor. I'll have to try it one day.
Thanks for the inspiration you always share with your recipes, Barb.
You keep us fired up with your great ideas.