I’ve Captured Sunshine In A Jar; Crab Apples

Crab Apple Jelly Made From Crimson Malus ‘Gorgeous’ Variety:



Jars full of sunshine



Red crab apple just picked & ready for the pot



basketful of yellow Malus ‘Golden Hornet’ crab apples (not so good for crab apple jelly)


I am often asked by friends who love my crab apple jelly  “Oh, can you eat crab apples?”



Little balls of yellow amidst the summer green



Jelly made from these red crab apples has a beautiful delicate colour



I remember as a child eating crab apples straight from a tree. They were sour, but if I picked the really ripe apples, they weren’t too bad, quite refreshing in fact.

 I have two crab apple trees in my garden; one has red apples and the other yellow. Not only do the cherry-sized apples enhance the beauty of the trees, in Spring we are rewarded with pink/red delicate blossoms. Crab apple trees are much loved by visiting honey eaters and small parrots.

 Every year I make crab apple jelly, which is just as nice on toast as it is served with pork.  Here is the recipe I use (no, you don’t have to core & peel the apples)



View from my writing desk


Recipe for Crab Apple Jelly



1.5 kg crab apples

1 unwaxed lemon


a piece of straining muslin

2-3 clean, dry, warm jam jars, about 250g each, with lids or covers.

 Makes 500g – 750g of jelly.


Sort the apples discarding any bruised or marked fruit and all leaves.

Wash the fruit, cut in half and place in large pan, add water to just under the level of the fruit. Peel zest thinly from the lemon and add that, and the peeled lemon to the pan. Part cover pan with lid and simmer for one hour. Transfer mixture to muslin to drip slowly overnight into bowl. Do not squeeze the bag, as this will make the jelly cloudy. I tie the muslin bag onto the tap over a bowl in the kitchen sink after dinner, and remove it first thing in the morning.

 Measure the juice into a clean preserving pan and for every 600mls of juice add 450g sugar (or part thereof). Simmer over low heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved, then increase the heat and boil hard for 5-10 minutes or until setting point is reached. Take pan off heat and test for set. (put saucer in fridge, and place tiny bit of jam on saucer and leave for 5 mins. If setting point is reached, a jelly will form). Place back on heat if not ready to set.  Be careful not to over-cook.

Once setting point has been reached, skim the jelly, then stir and pour into jars. Store in cool, dark pantry.


Autumn colours

  1. chanh said:

    What variety are your crabapple tries? Malus just means crabapples and not all Malus are edible.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anne said:

    Hello Chanh … thanks for pointing that out…as you will see, I have added the name of the crimson variety above: Crimson Malus ‘Gorgeous’ Crab Apple and it also states on the nursery tag (I always keep them for future reference) that this variety is excellent for making crab apple jelly. I think the proof of that is in the photograph of the jars above.


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