Not just for jelly!
Deliciously tart Crab apples turn a very average bottle of brandy into a luxury tipple.
1 x 70cl bottle of brandy
500g crab apples
Juice of half a lemon
Wash the crab apples, remove the stalks and cut them into halves. Put them into a large bottle or jar with a well fitting lid. Add the brandy, lemon juice and sugar. Swirl the ingredients around to dissolve the sugar and leave in a dark place for a month. Once a week give the brandy a gentle swish round to help extract the flavour from the fruit. After a month taste it to check for flavour and sweetness.
The flavour of the crab apple brandy will vary from year to year as the fruit varies. You can easily sweeten the liqueur by stirring in some caster sugar. Likewise if there is not enough apple flavour add some extra apple and leave for another week or two. When you are ready to bottle the brandy remove the fruit and strain through a very fine mesh sieve or muslin. The crab apple brandy will improve with keeping, – ideally store for a year before drinking.