Crab apple jelly

Further to yesterday’s post, I have now made some crab apple jelly. To be honest, it was really easy and it tastes superb!

I found a recipe off the internet ( which I have adapted, in part because I only had a few crab apples and in part because I simply didn’t need to boil the jelly for anywhere near as long as it said. Anyway, here goes:

1. Wash the crab apples (say 1kg of them), removing any which are bruised or have any rot in them.

2. Boil the apples in enough water to cover them until they are soft. That should take approx. 30 minutes.

3. Strain the pulp for 24 hours. (I put the pulp in a thin teatowel in a colander over a bowl.)

4. Measure the juice that has been strained, the next day. Divide the figure you get by 10 and then times it by 7. This new figure is the amount of sugar you need to add.

5. Put the juice and sugar in a pan with a tablespoon of lemon juice and bring to the boil. Keep at a rolling boil until the jelly has reached setting point. For me that was approx. 10 minutes, though I guess it may take longer if you have a larger amount of the mixture.

6. To test if the jelly has set, put a teaspoon on a plate which has been cooling in the freezer. Leave for a minute in the fridge and then check the consistency.

7. Put the jelly straight into previously sterilised warm jars and then heat seal the jars. Tonight was the first time I had done this, so I won’t make any recommendations on how to do it, but I’m sure if you aren’t already a seasoned jam-maker you can easily find instructions off the internet, as I did.


Crab apple jelly

Well, there you have it. My first crab apple jelly. Now, I just need my own tree, so that I can have a home-grown source of crab apples.

© Helen Butt, September 2014

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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15 Responses to Crab apple jelly

  1. That’s really interesting, Helen. Haven’t cooked with crab apples before. I was always a bit nervous of them – thought you had to be very careful as they could be poisonous, but I think I might be getting muddled-up with rosehips!

    Am keen to know what you eat the jelly with.


    • Thank you, Sophie.

      I think the idea about crab apples being poisonous could be an old wives’ tale. I thought that too until I bought some jelly at an orchard a few years ago. Perhaps I was told they were poisonous when in fact the person who told me meant they would upset my stomach unless cooked or something?!

      Anyway, I’ll eat the jelly like jam on bread. I think it’s called a jelly rather than a jam because only the juice is used, rather than the pulp.

  2. Catherine C says:

    Just wondering if you peel the crab apples first,Helen?

  3. We have a crab apple tree in our front garden (I’m blogging it monthly, Tree Following). Really must give this a try, the apples never look very appetising though.

  4. Thanks for the recipe

  5. Marcella Rousseau says:

    I love apples but I’ve never tried a crab apple thinking that it was very tart. I like apples with peanut butter as a snack in the evening. My favorite is Jonamac but they seem to have a very short availability – about 2 weeks. I don’t think I’ve ever tried apple jelly either. It sounds good though!

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