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Recipe To Make Apple Jelly from Wild CrabApples

Updated on June 30, 2011

Crabapple Jelly

As I live in the North West United States,I noticed there is an abundance of Wild Crabapple Trees or Bushs as some call them.

As the economy is in bad shape,there is a lot of canning going on in the rural areas where people can grow crops.So I decided to try my luck at canning Wild Crabapples.

I have dozens of trees surrounding me full of these little apples,and they are now ripe,so I decided to pick a bunch and make jelly.

When you pick Crabapples,you have to be carefull not to get stuck with the

1 inch spines the limbs prodce to protect the apples.

The apples grow in clusters of 2 to 10 and are on a stem,so all you need to do is grab the stem and pull the apples off.

The apples are the size of a small marble,so it takes 4 pounds to make a batch of jelly,which is 7 pints.

The ripe apple is purple with three seeds inside.

You will place the apples in a kettle with enough water to boil them.

After they come to a boil, you put them through a strainer and then you smash

the apples and strain them again.

Now you place the juice back on the burner and stir in 1 package of Pectin,

Bring to boil,then add 7 cups of sugar stirring until the juice boils.

Boil for 2 minutes.

Take off burner and ladle juice in clean pint fruit jars.

Skim foam off top of jelly

Clean rims of jars and place seals on.

Screw rings down tight to keep water out.

Place jars in water bath.

Make sure jars are submerged under 1 inch of water.

Bring water to boil and boil for 5 minutes.

Remove jars and place on towel.

You should see a depression in the middle of seal,when jar seals properly.

If the jar doesn't seal ,redo or use the jelly first.

Let jars set for 24 hours,then place in a dark cool area for storage.

For large apples I recommend buying an Apple Peeler,which is much faster then a knife.

Makes 7 Pints...

Wild Crab Apple


Wild Crab Apple (Malus coronaria, Mill.)

A low, bushy tree, with thorny angular twigs, rarely 30 feet

high. Bark reddish brown, scaly. Wood heavy, fine grained,

weak, reddish brown. Buds small, blunt, bright red.

Leaves ovate or triangular, 3 to 4 inches long, half as broad,

velvety beneath, blunt pointed, sharply serrate,

often lobed near base; petioles 1 1/2 to 2 inches long.

Flowers May to June, after the leaves, in 5 to 6 flowered

umbels, perfect, white to deep pink, spicy, fragrant 1 to 2

inches across. Fruit flattened, yellow, 1 inch in diameter;

flesh hard, sour. September. Preferred habitat, upland

woods, in moist, rich soil. Distribution, Ontario to Minnesota;

south along Alleghanies to Alabama; Nebraska to eastern

Texas; New York to South Carolina. Uses: An ornamental,

flowering tree. Fruit made into jellies and preserves.

Wood used for levers, tool handles, etc.

The wild, sweet-scented crab apple! The bare mention of its

name is enough to make the heart leap up, though spring

be months away, and barriers of brick hem us in. In the

corner of the back pasture stands a clump of these trees,

huddled together like cattle. Their flat, matted tops reach out

sidewise until the stubby limbs of neighbouring trees meet.

lt would not occur to anyone to call them handsome trees.

But wait! The twigs silver over with young foliage, then coral

buds appear, thickly sprinkling the green leaves.

Now all their asperity is softened, and a great burst of

rose-coloured bloom overspreads the treetops and fills the

air with perfume. It is not mere sweetness, but an exquisite;

spicy, stimulating fragrance that belongs only to wild

crab-apple flowers. Linnaeus probably never saw more than

dried specimen, but he named this tree most Worthily,

coronaria, "fit for crowns and garlands."

Break off an armful of these blossoming twigs and take

them home. They will never be missed. Be thankful that

your friends in distant parts of the country may share your

pleasure, for though this particular species does not cover

the whole United States, yet there is a wild crab apple for

each region.

In the fall the tree is covered with hard little yellow apples.

They have a delightful fragrance, but they are neither sweet

nor mellow. Take a few home and make them into jelly.

Then you will understand why the early settlers gathered

them for winter use. The jelly has a wild tang in it, an

indescribable piquancy of flavour as different from common

apple jelly as the flowers are in their way more charming

than ordinary apple blossoms. It is the rare gamy taste of

a primitive apple.

Well-meaning horticulturists have tried what they could do

toward domesticating this Malus coronaria. The effort has

not been a success. The fruit remains acerb and hard; the

tree declines to be "ameliorated" for the good of mankind.

Isn't it, after all, a gratuitous office? Do we not need our wild

crab apple just as it is, as much as we need more kinds of

orchard trees? How spirited and fine is its resistance!

It seems as if this wayward beauty of our woodside thickets

considered that the best way to serve mankind was to keep

inviolate those charms that set it apart from other trees and

make its remotest haunt the Mecca of eager pilgrims every


The wild crab apple is not a tree to plant by itself in park

or garden. Plant it in companies on the edge of woods, or

in obscure and ugly fence corners, where there is a

background, or where, at least, each tree can lose its

individuality in the mass. Now, go away and let them alone.

They do not need mulching nor pruning. Let them gang

their ain gait, and in a few years you will have a

crab-apple thicket. You will also have succeeded in

bringing home with these trees something of the spirit

of the wild woods where you found them

Wild Crab Apple Jelly

Apple sauce

Apple Jelly


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      hey grandpa will you bring some berrys or whatever they are down with you in april

    • flread45 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Montana

      Try them out I am sure you will love the flavor

    • jimcain207 profile image

      James Cain 

      9 years ago from HUMPHREY, ARKANSAS

      Great hub. I have a crabapple tree on my farm when I bought it. Now I know what I can do with it. Thanks.

    • flread45 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Montana

      It's almost time again to make wild crab apple jelly!!!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      My parents had several when I was growing up in Wisconsin. They have some natural pectin in them and one year my mother made some jelly. It was so thick that spoons were bent trying to get it out of the canning jar! Ha! What we got out was able to be chewed like gum. She learned from that mistake......but it made for a memory that I have never forgotten.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 

      10 years ago from Wisconsin

      Always wanted to try some of these. My husband's great-grandmother was always telling me about her family canning them. Our trees should be producing next year so I'll look into it.


    • steimmanbernard profile image


      10 years ago from california

      its kinda one of a kind food! keep it up!

    • LeaAnne profile image


      10 years ago from North Carolina

      My Grandmother had a crab apple tree in her yard, in North Carolina, and she would never let us eat them. She said they were posionious. The crab apples look the same to me. Thanks for a great hub!

    • Karen Ellis profile image

      Karen Ellis 

      10 years ago from Central Oregon

      Sounds great. I wish I could find some of those wild crab apple trees in my area - central oregon. On the other side of the Cascades they have wild Marion Berries - yum.

    • profile image

      Restaurant Recipes 

      10 years ago

      That's delicious! I actually just had this jelly not to long ago and it's great on toast.

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 

      10 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      Good hub, Flread. Where in the Northwest do you live?

      My favorite fruit jellies are the 'Spreadable Fruit' types - that don't add any sugar. They're delicious! I'm hooked on them.

    • hot dorkage profile image

      hot dorkage 

      10 years ago from Oregon, USA

      Gramma use to make this jelly. Mmmmmmm.....

    • Cailin Gallagher profile image

      Cailin Gallagher 

      10 years ago from New England

      My brother and sister in law have a great crab apple tree loaded with fruit. I'll pass this along to them. Maybe I can jar some for the winter ahead. Thanks!

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 

      10 years ago from New Brunswick

      Thanks for this, I enjoy finding ways to use the food that grows wild around us.

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 

      10 years ago from Portugal

      My parents always told me that wild little apples were tastier and I remember how much I loved them. Unfortunately nowadays it´s not so common to find those little apples around here :(

      ps: could you send me some!? ;)


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