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.
This jelly keeps for about 1 year. Refrigerate once upon and use within 1 month.
- 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
Christine Iverson is the author of The Hedgerow Apothecary and The Garden Apothecary (both published by Summersdale Publishers). She discovered a love of cottage gardens and all things hedgerow after moving to a Sussex downland village in 2001. This fascination led to volunteering as an apothecarist at the Weald and Downland Living Museum where she taught schoolchildren about medieval and Tudor medicine. She runs regular folklore and foraging workshops and gives talks to local women’s institutes and horticultural societies.
This is a recipe from The Hedgerow Apothecary: Recipes, Remedies and Rituals by Christine Iverson, published by Summersdale, £14.99.
Main image: Crab apple jelly. © Anita Peeples/Getty