A Tradition Continues – Crab Apple Time!

We are raising our little family in a home that I grew up visiting my whole life; my grandparents home – and the home my father grew up in. We have been slowly working on updating and improving it to a more modern state, but our chaotic lives have impeded this. Our backyard chickens didn’t pan out as I had hoped. Our small veggie garden is thriving regardless of its neglect. Hubby is diligently working on the construction of our photography studio in the garage.

During naptime today I got inspired to make use of the beautiful crab apples growing on our tree outside. I remembered as a child hopping up into the back of Grampie’s dump truck and climbing a ladder to pick the tiny sour apples that Grammie would then make jelly out of. So, I sent hubby and O out to pick me some. They did excellent 🙂

Next came the insanely tedious task of washing, cutting and coring this tiny sour apples with hopes of an apple crisp. However, when I got to about 1-2 cups of chopped crab apples I gave up and designated those to a loaf. The rest were going to tradition; crab apple jelly. For the jelly, I just had to chop the ends off and remove all stems. I thought I would share the process with you.

So, 1) wash the crab apples, then cut the “fuzzy” bottom stems off and remove all stems. During this process watch the inside of each apple to ensure they aren’t gone bad.

Next, throw them in a pot and cover with water. Bring it to a boil and allow the apples to cook until soft. This part makes your house smell amazing!

Once the apples are soft, remove from heat and allow them to cool down a bit. As straining the juice off is next and it helps if they are at a temperature you can touch without getting burned. I don’t have enough patience for this, so it was tougher to strain while hot. Strain through cheesecloth; or an clean dish towel.

Squeeze to get all the juice out – you’ll be left with apple mush. Next I measured how much juice I had. Mine was a little over 2 cups, so I added it and 3 cups of sugar to a pot.

Bring the mixture to a rolling boil for two-three minutes.


Once it has boiled 2-3 mins turn off and set aside to cool a few minutes.

Skim the foam off the top once settles. Prepare your bottles for storage (sterilize, etc). Then pour your jelly into your bottles. 

And tada! Crab apple jelly! O & I tasted it during the bottling step and it passed his approval. Pretty tasty!

If you’d like some crab apples to try your own send me a message. Our giant tree is FULL!

Happy Fall.