We picked chokecherries this weekend. Because they are small and usually located on hard-to-reach branches, we don’t make them a centerpiece of our diet. They provide a welcome accent.
Cooling on the sideboard today: a thick, rich crabapple-chokecherry jelly. We use Pomona’s pectin, so we can get by with very little sugar or honey (still a lot of C6H12O6 and C12H22O11 compared to what we normally eat, but a far cry from traditional jelly recipes that specify equal parts sugar and fruit).
Here is our general recipe: Place 5 lbs chopped crabapples in 5 cups boiling water, then simmer about 15 minutes until they are easily mashed. Press the mash through a jelly sieve and reserve. Place 2 lbs chokecherries in 2 cups boiling water for 10 minutes, then mash through a jelly sieve and mix with the apple squeezin’s. Based on the amount of liquid you end up with, scale according to the standard apple jelly recipe amounts for pectin and calcium. We ended up using 1-1/2 cups sugar, 3 tablespoons of pectin, and 3 tablespoons of calcium water.