Crabapple Jelly

Crabapple Jelly
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
5h 15 min
5 - 6 servings

Nothing beats opening a fresh jar of crabapple jelly and smearing a generous amount on toast to remind you of warm fall days.

Courtesy of Barbara Mayhew,, Charlottetown



lb(s) (1.8 kg) crabapples, blossom and stem ends removed
cups (1 ¾ L) water
Granulated sugar (see step 7 for amount)
- 4 Tbsp (45-50 mL) fresh lemon juice, strained
tsp (5 mL) butter


Step 1

Add crabapples and water to large pot and set over high heat.

Step 2

Bring to boil; reduce heat and cook for 40 to 45 minutes, or until apples have softened and begun to break down. Gently mash any large chunks of apple with a potato masher.

Step 3

Line large colander with double thickness cheesecloth and place over large pot. Pour apple pulp into colander. Let mixture drip for about 20 minutes. Gather ends of cheesecloth together and tie tightly with all-purpose twine, making a jelly bag with hanging loop.

Step 4

Place large pot or bowl on floor between two chairs. Suspend jelly bag from broom handle, over pot, supporting broom on chairs. Allow jelly bag to drip on its own for 3 to 4 hours or overnight, until no more drips appear. Resist the urge to squeeze the jelly bag; this could cause pulp to escape bag, resulting in cloudy juice and jelly.

Step 5

Meanwhile, place 3 saucers in the freezer.

Step 6

Place 6 clean 1-cup (250 mL) Mason jars upright in a large pot. Cover jars with water; heat to 180°F (82ºC) to sterilize jars. Keep jars hot until ready to use.

Step 7

When jelly bag is no longer dripping, discard bag and apple pulp. To determine amount of sugar needed, pour extracted juice into liquid measure. Measure ¾ cup (175 mL) sugar for each cup of juice. Pour juice and sugar into pot.

Step 8

Add lemon juice to sugar mixture. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add butter. Bring mixture to rolling boil; reduce heat to medium-high and continue to boil for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 9

To test for doneness, remove saucer from freezer and drop 2 tsp (10 mL) jelly onto cold plate. Return saucer to freezer for 1 minute. Remove from freezer and push the jelly gently with finger. If jelly wrinkles, it is done. If it does not wrinkle, keep cooking jelly, testing every 5 minutes until done. Do not overcook.

Step 10

Skim any remaining foam from jelly. Using canning funnel, pour hot jelly into sterilized jars, leaving between ¼ inch (5 mm) headroom. Heat jar lids and immediately place over hot filled jars. Tighten rim onto each jar.

Step 11

Allow jelly jars to sit at room temperature for several hours to set then store in cold room or refrigerator. Alternatively, process in hot water bath following canner manufacturer’s directions.

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