Apple -Sumac Jelly Recipe

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!

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4 Responses to Apple -Sumac Jelly Recipe

  1. queenofstring says:

    I had never come across sumac before reading this, and having googled for images, I dont think I have ever seen it growing. Something else on the list of things to look out for! whilst talking of red things, I’d appreciate your thoughts on red elderberries. The USDA says they’re safe to eat but there seems to be some internet chatter that they’re not, so now I’m confused :-S.

    • Hi Queen

      Sorry about that, I will add a link to what Sumac is and will head out for a walk tomorrow and snap a photo of the bush and of the berry sticks to go with the post.

      Well, my first thought about red Elderberries is that I don’t have them on the farm and so have not done any real research on them, so I grabbed both of my handy and for me at least trustworthy wild food guide books and looked it up, they both say that there are at least three kinds of elders but that only the blue elder or the common elder are worth using, one book just says to not even look for or use the red elder, the second book has a fairly large warning about it, Says red elder is very bitter and possable poisonous, however they were used as a food for tribes in B.C. They say that the red elder must be cooked and never eaten in a raw state, but I feel that is what should happen with all elders regardless of color.

      Sounds to me like its a “if you have to use it” food, its there but that given a choice, that it would be best to look for something that has a much better recommendation. Hope that helps a little.

  2. queenofstring says:

    Sounds like it falls into that category of ” you can eat it, but would you want to?” There are millions of them here, and no sign of yummy black ones. Maybe I will make a tiny bit of syrup and taste test it :-). If I die it’ll be my own fault. Thanks for all your efforts finding out about them. On another note, I have just been to S*perstore for more flour, and blow me, there is something that looks very Sumac esque growing in their carpark LOL. I will investigate further once you pics are up and I have a little more time.

  3. Melissa says:

    Sumac leaves are a great mordant for dying vegetable fibres. Not a food answer, but a great use for the leaves since they’re really high in tannins (hence using them for tanning? Go figure!). I’ve also sprinkled dried sumac berries (dry and grind into a fine powder) on salad for a lovely lemony flavour.

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