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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Harvested two five gallon buckets of crab apples the other day from the tree in a coworkers yard. 

Every recipe I've found seems simple enough but I wonder: 

Recipes generally say barely cover with water, simmer till soft, strain overnight through cheesecloth. Make jelly. 

That leaves behind lots of pulp and it would seem I am just making jam from the water the apples were cooked in.

I was thinking I'd pass them through a food mill to remove seeds and skin but utilize the pulp. 

No? 
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A quick update before I head to work.

     One five gallon bucket has been cooked. I don't know what variety of crab apple I got.

      They are very hard, requiring a solid chef's knife to cut through.  Once cooked, they don't break down much at all. The water they are cooked in is the same in amount after cooking but full of pectin and colored like light apple cider.  Some liquid spilled on the counter was quite sticky  and jelly-like after sitting for a while.  The cooked ones retain their shape so draining is simple and quick. 

     I ran some cooked ones through the food mill and added sugar to the pulp.  Sweet and apple tasting but not great. I doubt I'll go any further with that. 

So far I have just over a gallon of "juice". 

More later. 
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Finally ready to make the jelly. 27 cups of juice, now on the stove reducing a bit.

I went to buy pectin but the ingredients list is Dextrose, citric acid, pectin.

I already have sugar and citric acid and if they are the dominant ingredients in commercial pectin, why buy it?

I'm following the Ball Book of Home Preserving and so far haven't discovered any explanation for this.  
 
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