Antonia’s Crab Apple Jelly

Crab apples

When I was a young adult, my mom (Antonia) set time aside one autumn afternoon to show me how to make her wonderful crab apple jelly. In her loving memory, I am sharing this special recipe with all blog readers. This jelly evokes fond personal memories of my mom and gives me great pleasure whenever I make it. Making the jelly is a labour of love that requires a lot of time and patience. Being able to gift my small decorated jars to others, brings me great joy.


  • 5 pounds of crab apples
  • sugar
  • water

It is important to prepare your jars and lids before the making the jelly—clean the jars thoroughly and boil the lids.


Part 1

  1. Wash crab apples and place in a large pot.
  2. Remove the stalks and cut off the bottom and any bad parts.
  3. Add enough water to cover half of the crab apples.
  4. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
  5. Simmer and cook the apples for 45- 60 minutes, until they have a soft and mushy texture.
  6. Take a large sieve or strainer and cover it with cheesecloth.
  7. Pour the crab apple mush into the sieve or strainer and let the juices drain and drip into a bowl without pressing or squeezing the apples–if you do the jelly will become cloudy.
  8. Drain crab apples for one hour (minimum) until there is no more juice–the longer it drips, the more juice you will get.

Part 2

  1. In another large pot put an equal amount of juice and sugar—for every cup of juice, put a cup of sugar
  2. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a very slow rolling boil for 10 minutes.
  3. Test for jelly consistency by placing a small plate in freezer.
  4. Take a spoonful of the boiled juice and place on plate. If when you pass your finger through the jelly and it stays in place and does not move towards the middle of the plate, you have the perfect jelly consistency (you may have to repeat this test every two minutes until you get this stage).
  5. Pour into prepared jars and put on lids and tighten but not too tightly.

Part 3

  1. Boil water in a large pot and gently place the lightly sealed jars in the water; the jars should be covered by at least one inch to two inches of water. Boil for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove jars from water and listen for the pop of the vacuum the jars make when they are sealed. If you do not hear the pop, put back in and boil again (you can visually see the seal being sucked down).

Note: You can use the same procedures for any apple variety. The bigger apples need to be cut in quarters for quicker cooking.


Let cool, retighten the lids. You’re done!  Enjoy!

Jelly in Jars

Crab apples make the loveliest ruby red jelly. Mmmmmmm.

Louise R.


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