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Crab Apple Jelly Jar.
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Crab apple jelly recipe

  • Moderate

Graham Rice explains how to make the best crab apple jelly


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’.

Don't miss Graham's expert recommendations for the best crab apple trees to grow.


  • 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.


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