I could not help but notice that driving that the local sumacs are covered with bright red, and as mid-summer is the best picking time, and I just happened to have some wonderful locally ready crabapples (you can use regular as well).
Pick about a dozen or so of the sumac fruit clusters, rinse them off and remove any that are damaged, check for bugs carefully, then cover with at least four cups of water and simmer for ten to twenty min, Allow to cool enough to handle and crush though your food mill and then put though a jelly bag, or just hang a really tight jelly bag over night. In a different pot put crabapples/one cup of whole cranberries, cover with 3 cups of water, cook, then strain though a jelly bag to drip for at least four to six hours.
Take your juices combine together, for a total of right around 7 cups of mixed juices, to which I add six cups of sugar, and 1/4 cups of lemon juice, bring to boil till it reaches gel stage and then skim, bottle and hot water process for ten min..
One of the perks of this jelly is that its all local, the crabs are off the farm, the sumac is down the road and the cranberries are from our local bog about 40 min away, plus I have my own little cranberry area, the second big perk is that its different! you can’t find this flavor combo at the local store or even at the farmers market, at least I have never seen it.
Do you use Sumac to make homemade tea? Do you make Sumac jelly? Got a different recipe that works well? Do you use it for help in tanning hides? The wood is wonderful that way!