Crab Apple Jelly

Crab Apple Jelly

During a recent phone conversation, my Mom told me about the crab apple jelly she and dad had mixed up. She agreed to write it out and share it with us all. So here is my Mom (otherwise known as Nana) as a guest blogger:

We have tried for years to get a tree started to the west of our house for some cool shade. I’ve lost count of how many trees we’ve planted there!

Finally a crab apple tree lived more than a year! It has grown and produced fruit over the last few years, but never the size not the number that fill the branches this year!

Since the crab apple sits right outside our dining room window, it seemed to challenge us at every meal to do something with it’s fruit. Being the frugal people we are, we just couldn’t let it go to waste!

Papa and I had discussed the possibility of making some jelly with it, but he’s been busy with black walnuts and my list of in-house projects took priority- until this week. We looked at each other and said, “Let’s do it!”

Papa picked 3- 5 quart plastic buckets of crab apples while I surfed the web to find some information and recipes for crab apple jelly.

He suggested that we put some red-hot cinnamon candy in for a boost in flavor! (The grand kids can tell you that Papa likes to put red hot candies in lots of things- like the popcorn popper when making popcorn and adding them to pancakes!)

We decided that there was a reason for the name “crab”- definitely not sweet and almost bitter!

Was it frugal? With the cost of sugar, sure-jell and flats to seal the jars, I’m not sure. But the color is beautiful! And it tastes great! With all the sugar and the candies, it is delicious on bread, toast and crackers.

Prairie Crab Apple Jelly

Wash 3-4 gallons of crab apples. Remove stems (nail clippers work well) and blossom end. Discard any apples with blemishes.

No need to cut or core, just place the apples in a stock pot and barely cover with water.

Bring to a boil and 20-25 minutes until soft. (Too long will make them bitter.)

Pour through a fine strainer. In order to have clear jelly- DO NOT PRESS! Discard the apples.

Measure 7 cups of juice in and put in a deep pot (you will need room for it to boil.)

Add 9 cups of sugar and 1/2 cup of red hot cinnamon candies.

Stir constantly until you have a full rolling boil.

Add 1 box of sure-jell and continue to stir. Bring to a full rolling boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim foam from the top. (One recipe said that you could add 1 tablespoon of butter to the juice to eliminate the foaming.)

Pour into sterilized jars and seal.

Yield 13 cups of jelly.


Until next time,

Travels with Papa & Nana

3 thoughts on “Crab Apple Jelly

  1. So I can really just put these apples in a bin and they’ll taste good in the middle of winter? Don’t they need refridgeration or some prep work? I can’t even leave them in my garage so they’ll be colder…the ground squirrels come in and start munching on them.

    I’m not sure I agree with this poet. How long can the apple just sit there and still taste good?

    Oh great apple queen…can you answer my inquiries?! =)


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