Jars of Crabapple Jelly

Crabapple Jelly Recipe

Here’s a simple recipe for crabapple jelly that calls for just sugar and water. No pectin required.

  • Author: Erin Huffstetler,
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes (up to 25 minutes)
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Varies
  • Category: Jellies
  • Method: Stove-Top
  • Cuisine: American


  • Crabapples
  • Sugar
  • Water


Wash and weigh your crabapples.

Remove the stems, and cut off the blossom ends. Then, halve or quarter your crabapples. There’s no need to remove the seeds.

Place in a large stockpot, and add one cup of water for each pound of crabapples.

Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Then, reduce heat, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. The apples will feel soft when they’re done. Be careful not to overcook them. This will reduce their pectin.

Strain the juice from the crabapples, using a jelly strainer, or a lined colander.

Then, pour the juice into a large pot, and sweeten. Start with one cup of sugar per pound. Add more, until it suits your tastes.

Bring to a boil over high heat, until a candy thermometer reads eight degrees over the boiling point of water for your elevation. This will indicate that you’ve reached gel point.

Ladle your crabapple jelly into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch of headspace. Water bath can for five minutes, or allow your jelly to cool, and freeze (be sure to use freezer jars, if you do).


  • Use 25% under-ripe crabapples, and 75% ripe crabapples for the best flavor and gel.
  • Don’t process more than six cups of fruit juice at a time, or you may not get a good gel.
  • If you don’t get a good gel, add half a box of pectin (3 tablespoons), and reheat the jelly to bring it back to gel point.
  • Save your apple pulp, and use it to make crabapple butter