This crab apple jelly recipe is simple, and crab apples contain so much pectin that it usually sets very well. In fact, I add a little crab apple to my marmalade to help it set. You can use any crab apple, but among the best are: Malus ‘Harry Baker’, Malus Jelly King (=‘Mattfru’), Malus ‘Dartmouth’, Malus ‘John Downie’ and Malus x robusta ‘Dolgo’.

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  • 4kg Crab apples Unbruised and undamaged
  • 1kg (approx) Caster sugar
  • 1 Lemon juiced


  • STEP 1

    Wash the crab apples (you can leave stalks on), and place in a saucepan. Fill the saucepan with just enough water to cover the crab apples. Apples float, so push them down with a plate to measure.

  • STEP 2

    Bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the crab apples are soft.

  • STEP 3

    Pour the apple pulp into a jelly bag, and hang overnight to drip into a pan. Don’t be tempted to squeeze the bag as this can make the juice cloudy.

  • STEP 4

    Next day, measure the crab apple juice, and add seven parts sugar to ten parts juice. Add lemon juice and bring to the boil.

  • STEP 5

    Keep at a rolling boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, for 40 minutes, skimming off the froth.

  • STEP 6

    To test the set, chill a saucer in the fridge. When the crab apple jelly looks ready, put half a teaspoon on to the saucer and if it sets it’s ready to pour into warm, sterilised preserving jars. Seal tightly while the jelly is still slightly warm.