Crab Apple Jelly

3.76 avg. rating (75% score) - 36 votes

Crab Apple Jelly

This tasty recipe for crab apple jelly is so simple that it consists of only two ingredients — crab apples and sugar. How easy is that?

Yield: Makes about 4 cups.


  • 3 pounds crab apples, washed and cut, but not cored or peeled water, to cover
  • 1 cup sugar for each cup of strained juice (about 4 cups)


Boil crab apples in water until soft. Wet a jelly bag and strain crab apples through it. (For clear jelly, do not squeeze bag.) Measure the juice, then simmer in a stainless steel pot for 5 minutes. Skim froth, then add sugar. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until jelly thickens and drops from a spoon in sheets (about 220 degrees F). Skim foam and pour jelly into dry but hot sterilized jars to within 1/2 inch of top if sealing with paraffin (use 1/8 inch of wax) or to within 1/8 inch of top for two-piece metal lids. Seal, cool, and store in a cool, dark, dry place.
  • For 8 cups of juice, I cut the sugar to 5 cups which was perfect, sweet, but not sickly sweet. A beautiful crab apple jelly!

  • Stephanie

    To get up to 220 I had to really get it to a boil. I was worried it would destroy the pectin, but it certainly didn’t — it set up like a charm, almost too much! You could even safely boil the jars in a water bath for 5 mins for extra assurance of sterility and not wreck the pectin if you have the right crabapples

    I used very dark red crabapples (about the size of large marbles) that we picked in MN. They had a wonderful ruby color and flavor. The proportions of sugar to juice was just right.

    I even cooked/strained the crabapples one day and stored the juice in the fridge, then siphoned off the top of the juice with a baster, leaving the sediment at the bottom of the jar. That provides a more clear jelly.

  • This attempt at crab apple jelly will include the use of small clustered apples about the size of cherries. There are many stems coming off the main flower stem. I’ll post you on the result, either good or bad. Fortunately, here in MN we have all varieties of crab apples there for the harvesting.


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