Crab Apple Jelly

Crab apples are not the easiest of fruits to come across – in fact they are almost impossible to buy in the store. You might find some at local Farmers markets, however the most likely source of the fruit is either from your own tree or from friends and neighbours. If you get the opportunity to gather some crab apples, you really must try this recipe for crab apple jelly. The lovely pink colour provides a jelly that is full of flavour and so tasty to eat on a piece of toast or even toasted crumpets.

Crab Apple Jelly
Serves: 800 ml Jelly
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 kg crab apples
  • water, to cover
  • caster sugar, as required
  • juice of 1 lemon
  1. Wash the crab apples and discard any bruised fruit. Remove the stalks and any blemishes. Cut off the bottoms.
  2. Place the crab apples in a large saucepan and cover with water.
  3. Bring to the boil and cook for approximately 45 minutes.
  4. Strain the pulp through muslin cloth overnight. (See Note)
  5. Measure the resulting juice and determine the appropriate amount of caster sugar. (You will need 7 parts sugar to 10 parts juice).
  6. Put the juice, measured sugar, and lemon juice into a suitable sized saucepan and bring to a boil
  7. Skim off any scum that forms on the jelly surface. (It is this scum that causes the jelly to have a cloudy appearance so the more you can carefully remove the clearer your final jelly will be)
  8. Once the jelly starts the thicken, test it every couple of minutes on the back of a cold spoon. When the jelly is set, it will solidify on the back of the spoon. ( If you have a thermometer, the jelly should set at around 105°C.)
  9. Pour into warm sterilised jars and seal. Tightly seal while still slightly warm. Store in a cool, dark and dry place.
Crab apple jelly is normally strained through muslin, which results in a clear jelly, but if you don't have any and don't mind the jelly being cloudy, you can use a fine sieve. If straining through muslin you will need to leave the pulp to strain in its own time (if in doubt, leave it overnight), as squeezing it to speed up the process will result in a cloudy jelly.




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