Saturday, 26 September 2009

Crab Apples

Every year where I can I try and get hold of a store of crab apples to make crab apple jelly which is wonderful with a joint of roast pork or cold in pork sandwiches. Somehow or other it always manages to lift this lovely meat and turn it into something special, especially as Pork can on occasion be an extremely dry meat.

Crab apples come in different hues and colours some are really red and make a lovely purpley pink jelly others are yellowy green but whatever their colour you can process them into something delicious. If there is one preserve you should make this is it - you can use it with a hot meal like roast pork, or with sausages, or in sandwiches or as a spread on toast - on crumpets, these are just a few ideas there are lots more. A dollop can also be added to gravy to give it a background flavour.

Crab apples can be used as a base for herb jellies or combined with other fruits. they can also be spiced whole, and can be used in a hedgerow jelly mixed in with other hedgerow fruits such as damsons, elderberries, sloes hips and haws.

Since I started this post my OH has brought me the first batch of crab apples this year as per photo above They are ruby red, so this should make a nice pinky coloured jelly. I am hoping he will be able to get me some golden yellowy ones as well which should make a yellowy green preserve.

You can use crab apples as you would ordinary apples just add a little more sugar to counteract their sharpness.

As an aside to this, this afternoon I have been playing with my Tefal Jam machine. It has a steam juice extraction programme on it which I have not used before, so I decided to play and have done a first batch in preparation for making crab apple Jelly -recipe to follow separately. I am used to straining through a jelly bag overnight on a stand, but you don't have to do that with this programme. So I am going to see whether it has any effect on the clarity and clearness of the end product, as if it does I will be going back to the traditional method on this. So we will have to see what transpires. Will report back later.

Update: It is brilliant

The recipe for the Crab Apple Jelly for the Machine is:

1 kg crab apples
1 litre of water

Put through steam processing programme

Measure juice obtained once programme finished this takes about 55 minutes.

To each pint of juice add one pound of sugar

Use traditional programe on machine to process for jelly adding he sugar to the juice.

Cook until setting point about 25 to 30 minutes

Bottle in hot sterile jars. Label and store.

This produced one and a quarter jars to 1 pint of juice
Don't have one of these machines yet.

Put a kg of chopped crab apples into a preserving pan and bring to boil until apples go soft. Take off heat and pour into jelly bag on stand leave to drip overnight. Don't squeeze as you will end up with a cloudy jelly. Measure juice and for each pint of juice add 1lb sugar process as for jam.


  1. Can't wait for the 'report' :) Wish I could 'test' it though, haha! And you know, I've never heard of a jam machine! Well, I suppose if I actually made jam, I would have :) Can't wait for the results! Good luck...~ER~

  2. Wht a fabulous deep colour for that crab apple jelly. It sounds like your jam maker is more than earning its keep!


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