Crab apple jelly recipe

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Skill: easy
Cost: cheap
Prep: 20 min
Cooking: 20 min
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  • Crab apple jelly is one of our favourite crab apple recipes and is delicious spread on a piece of toast.

    If you’re lucky enough to have a crab apple tree in your garden then this is the best way to use up a glut of the sharp tasting fruit – turning them into a delicious sweet jelly. If you don’t have a jelly bag and stand to strain the fruit pulp you can improvise by using 2-3 layers of clean muslin cloth tied to the legs of an upturned stool. Don’t be tempted to squeeze the bag or the jelly will end up cloudy.


    • 2 kg crab apples
    • 1.5 litres water
    • 1 lemon, sliced
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • Approx 750g granulated sugar


    • Cut the apples into chunks without peeling or coring and place in a preserving pan with the lemon, cinnamon and water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 1 hr until the apples are very soft and pulpy, stirring occasionally.

    • Cool for 10 mins then spoon the fruit pulp and liquid into a jelly bag and leave to strain into a large bowl for at least 12 hrs or overnight.

    • Discard the pulp remaining in the jelly bag. Measure the strained juice and pour it into a large pan (or the clean preserving pan) with 450g of sugar for each 600ml of juice.

    • Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for about 15-20 mins. Remove the pan from the heat and test for setting point by spooning a little of the hot jelly onto a chilled saucer. Leave for 2-3 mins then push your finger through the jelly – if it wrinkles it is ready. If the jelly is still runny, boil for a further few mins then test again.

    Top tip for making Crab apple jelly

    To give the jelly a lovely pink hue replace 250g of the crab apples with 250g redcurrants or cranberries.

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