In my prior post, I made Crab Apple Jelly the old fashioned way without commercial pectin. However, it is a finicky way to make the jelly and requires some precision with temperatures and cooking. So I thought I would try making a batch with commercial pectin and compare the results.
The recipe for making crab apple jelly with Bernadin Pectin is at:
I cut the blossom and stem ends off the crab apples and cut them in half. I brought it to a boil, mashed the fruit and boiled further.
I poured the mixture into a jelly bag and let it drain for 8 hours.
I put the jars in a hot water canner and boiled them for 10 minutes.
I added the Bernardin Pectin to the juice and a bit of margarine. I brought it to the boil and added the sugar.
I returned it to the boil and boiled it hard as instructed.
I took the juice off the heat and skimmed any foam off with a metal spoon. I poured the hot jelly into the jars to within 1/4 inch from the top. I put the inserts and rings on the jars and tightened with my fingertips.
I put the jars back in the canner and brought it to the boil. As I live at higher altitude, I boiled it for 20 minutes. If you were at lower altitude you would boil for 10 minutes.
I put the jars upright on a counter and let them sit for 24 hours. All the inserts popped downwards. If any stayed curved up, I would use those right away.
The jelly can be stored for up to a year in a cool dark place.
This is a very nice jelly. It has a nice flavour, a pretty pink colour and a good consistency. I will enjoy using it over the next year.
That being said, it isn’t as good as the old fashioned method without commercial pectin. Let’s do a detailed analysis.
The old fashioned method has a nice tart sweet balance with a definite apple taste. The Bernardin method has a good flavour but it is sweeter with less apple flavour.
The old fashioned method is a bright red colour I love. The Bernardin method is a pretty pink but is not as vibrant.
The jelly consistence from the old fashioned method is more spreadable. The Bernardin is fine with a nice jelly texture but is a little more set up.
If you are willing to do more work and to be more detailed with temperature management the old method makes the better product. However, if you want an easier method with less chance of failure, the Bernardin method makes a fine product that is very good but just a little lower quality.
The Old Fat Guy