How to make hot crab apple and chilli jelly

This crab apple jelly is a tasty accompaniment to sausages or cold meats, and delicious on toast and crumpets too.

Crab apple jelly. © Anita Peeples/Getty

Crab apples are smaller and sharper than cultivated apples, and may be green, yellow or red in colour.

Their bitter, dry-tasting nature makes them unpalatable to eat but their intense apple flavour works well in many recipes, including drinks and jams.

From a health perspective, crab apples are a natural antioxidant and high in vitamin C.

Their seeds and core and naturally high in pection making them useful to set jellies and jams.

Keeps for about 1 year. Refrigerate once upon and use within 1 month.

Crab apples. © Nick Baranov/Getty
Crab apples. © Nick Baranov/Getty


  • Crab apples 600g, washed and chopped [I like to use red-skinned ones as they give the jelly an amazing colour]
  • Chillies 35g, chopped
  • Water 1 litre
  • Lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • Caster sugar 500g


  • Step 1

    Put the chopped apples, chillies, lemon juice and water in a heavy-bottomed pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the apples become pulpy.

  • Step 2

    Strain through a jelly bag or muslin square overnight. Don’t be tempted to squeeze the pulp – this would make your jelly cloudy.

  • Step 3

    Measure the juice into a pan. For every 500ml of juice add 300g of caster sugar. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Keep a rolling boil going for 10-15 minutes until setting point has been reached.

  • Step 4

    Cool slightly, skim away any scum that forms on top of your jelly, pour into sterilised jars and seal tightly with screw-top lids.

    Crab apple jelly. © Jay Scott/Getty
    Crab apple jelly. © Jay Scott/Getty

This is a recipe from The Hedgerow Apothecary: Recipes, Remedies and Rituals by Christine Iverson, published by Summersdale, £14.99.

The Hedgerow Apothecary

Main image: Crab apple jelly. © Anita Peeples/Getty