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Member recipe

Crab apple jelly

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(13 ratings)

Member recipe by


Serves 1 - 6 Jars

Use the crab apples from the garden - they're not readily available commercially - to make this delicious recipe

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  • 4 kg crab apples
  • 1 kg caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Makes 6 x 500ml jars - or use these proportions.


    1. Wash the apples, removing any bruised fruit. Put in a saucepan, fill with water to just cover the apples.
    2. Bring to the boil and simmer until the fruit is soft (about 30 minutes).
    3. Pour the pulp into a jelly bag or several layers of muslin and let drip overnight into a pan. Do NOT squeeze the bag or it will make the juice cloudy.
    4. The next day, measure the juice, and add sugar in the ratio of 10 parts juice to 7 of sugar. Add some lemon juice, then bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
    5. Keep at a rolling boil for 40 minutes, skimming off the froth. To test the set, chill a dessertspoon in the refrigerator.
    6. When the jelly is set, it will solidify on the back of the spoon. Pour into warm, sterilised preserving jars and tightly seal while still slightly warm. Store in a cool dark place.

Comments, questions and tips

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Katie henderson's picture
Katie henderson
1st Nov, 2018
Great recipe made a batch today exactly as stated and it’s perfect. Set perfectly :)
23rd Aug, 2018
I'm about to make this for the second year running. Last year, I added some chunks of ginger to the second boiling, and it was fantastic. Highly recommended.
25th Sep, 2017
This recipe uses less sugar than most (good news!) and produces an excellent result. I used granulated sugar rather than caster sugar with no apparent ill effects.
12th Nov, 2016
This is the first year I've had my own crabapples. I thought I had plenty of time to spare when the instructions said to boil for 40 minutes - went back to look after 10 minutes, and it was already over set. I've got 3 small usable jars (from 850g of juice), but it doesn't look nice. There's quite a few left on the tree, so if I can get them down - they're very high! - I'll have another go. Perhaps I was so careful not to add too much water that I didn't add enough. But the sugar was based on the amount of liquid, not the weight of fruit.
JoBoJones's picture
6th Nov, 2016
I've never used our crab apples before but tried this recipe with only 1kg of crab apples (ie quartered the recipe) and it worked really well. Beautiful clear jelly and lovely taste. I will make some more with chilli next time... or maybe rose hips. Looking forward to eating it with the turkey at Christmas.
Jod880's picture
12th Sep, 2016
Made this with 4kg of apples I had to pass it through the Jelly bag in 2 lots and I then passed the whole lot through again to get a really clear juice. I used the ratio of 10:7 It did take a lot longer than 40 mins to get a set (about 1.30hr) however the taste is delicious! I added a couple of very finely chopped chilli's, with the seeds removed, in the final boiling and it has given it the most amazing kick!
28th Aug, 2015
Crab apple jelly recipe is great very simple taste was tremulous Thanks Steven
29th Dec, 2013
Good recipe, made lovely clear crab apple jelly. My apples were the tiny little ones, the size of cherries so I left the stalks on and didn't cut them up, just gave them a good wash and it was fine.
20th Nov, 2013
I found that a litre of the strained juice weighed about 1.2kg, so added 0.85kg sugar per litre of juice. The liquid, which had been cloudy, rapidly became transparent, throwing a scum to the surface which I have removed. It does seem to take a long time to reach a setting point, however, so probably I either need to add more sugar or try to use less water initially?
14th Nov, 2013
I now have a very thick very dark syrup. Couldn't get it to set and boiled for a very long time.I reckon I used too much water. Recipe should state exactly how much water to use. The recipe says to just cover the crab apples with water. This is impossible as the apples float! Next time I'll use the recipe in the Women's Institute book Harry Pitt


18th Aug, 2017
Is Step 4 (10 parts juice to 7 parts sugar) by volume or by weight?
17th Sep, 2014
I've made the apple jelly and it looks great but it has not set properly even thought I've left it boiling longer than the 40 minutes. Is there anything I can do to rescue it ? Thanks
17th Aug, 2017
4kg of fruit ... in a saucepan?
10th May, 2017
This can be done in half a day! I ignored the drip overnight tip and I squeezed the ever loving crap out of the tea towel I used instead of muslin. It did not go cloudy, in fact it came out perfect and this might be because I was very meticulous about skimming the froth. Anyway, I made 3 jars full in one afternoon. I didn't Measure the fruit as it's all relative (ie. just enough water to cover fruit, then 7 parts sugar) so this is a very good guide. Thank you!
15th Oct, 2015
Tips from a lazy jam maker.Tried this with some cider apples. They were quite acid so I left out the lemon juice. The apples turned to a pulp after about 15 minutes cooking. Having no jelly bag I pressed the pulp through a sieve, which gave a slightly but not excessively cloudy jelly - this is not a problem for me since most other jams (plum, strawberry etc) are not clear. Other tips. Don't scrape the scum off - it tastes good when set! Don't sterilise the jars. Just pour the jam/jelly into them as soon as it comes off the boil. The hot jam sterilises them. Excellent result.
24th Oct, 2014
I made a large batch of this last year and it was/is delicious as it is. However, I added it to strawberry jam this summer and can thoroughly reccomend this. It means that you can cut down/delete powdered pectin in your jam recipe and the crab apples give an astringency to the strawberry jam which takes it into a different sphere of flavour altogether. I added the CAJ at the rate of about 1 to 4 with the strawberry jam.
7th Oct, 2013
When making Jam/jelly that has a lot of Scum add some butter, not a lot but it really reduces it. also mint or Rosemary is great in crab apple jelly.
7th Oct, 2013
When making Jam/jelly that has a lot of Scum add some butter, not a lot but it really reduces it. also mint or Rosemary is great in crab apple jelly.
7th Oct, 2013
When making Jam/jelly that has a lot of Scum add some butter, not a lot but it really reduces it. also mint or Rosemary is great in crab apple jelly.