How To Make Crab Apple Jelly

Homemade Jam Recipes

Ingredients: Crab Apple Jelly Recipe

Photo of Crab Apples4 1/2 lb / 2,000 grams of recently harvested crab apples
4 lb / 1,800 grams of white sugar - granulated, not caster (approximately)
70 fl oz / 2,000 ml of tap water (approximately)
1 lemon

Method - What To Do

It always feels like autumn has arrived when the branches of crab apple trees begin to bend under the weight of their bumper crop. This fruit can often be collected from hedgerow trees, meaning that this is a very cheap recipe.

It is difficult to use crab apples in cooking, as they are so sharp. However, since they are packed with pectin, they are perfect for making a jam-like jelly.

Photo of Crab ApplesWash all of the small crab apples, checking them for damage. Remove any leaves (the stems can remain in place), and place the fruit (whole, not chopped) into a large saucepan, topping with water. This should be enough to cover the very top layer of the fruit, and so the exact amount of water required may need to be increase if all of the apples are not completely covered.

Bring the saucepan to a strong boil and then simmer your crab apples for roughly half an hour, stirring every now and again to encourage the apples to slightly disintegrate, but mostly remain fairly intact, rather than turning to pulp. After this time has passed, pour all of the cooked crab apples through a large colander, collecting the water in a separate pan.

Pour this liquid through a muslin bag, so that any pieces of floating debris are removed. Next, tip all of the cooked crab apples into a suspended muslin bag, allowing the juices to drip into a container beneath. If you do not have a muslin bag, you can simply cover your colander with muslin or a similar thin material (such as an old, washed net curtain), cut to size.

Allow your crab apples to drip their juice into the container overnight, avoiding any urges to squeeze the bag or press the fruit, as this will result in a cloudy jelly.

The following day, measure all of the crab apple water / juice that you have collected. For every litre of juice, you will need 1 kg (1,000 grams) of white sugar. You can use slightly less sugar if you prefer a more 'tart' tasting jelly, or a little more sugar if you have a real sweet tooth.

Mix the crab apple water with all of the sugar in a pan, along with the juice of one lemon, and place this on a fairly low heat, stirring well so that all of the sugar crystals quickly dissolve. Allow the jelly mixture to boil and leave on a rolling boil for between 30 and 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. When you feel that your mixture has started to visibly thicken, you can test it to see if it will set properly. Using a previously chilled plate (or spoon), drip a small quantity onto the chilled plate and leave for a minute. Then, angle the plate at roughly 45° to see if your crab apple jelly has set, or starts to run. Touch the jelly to check if a skin is forming. Unless you are confident that the jelly is ready to set, keep simmering and re-test in five minutes.

Once your crab apple jelly has reached its setting point, remove the pan from the cooker heat and skim off any foam. The liquid should be clear and free from any pieces. Pour into sterile glass jars, seal with wax paper and place the lids on the jam jars.

Crab Apple Jelly Recipe - More Jelly Recipes.