Crabapple and Pomegranate Jelly with Rosebuds

crab apple jelly recipe

My parents have shifted into a unit. After a life (time) of living in large houses with lots of space and huge gardens they now blessedly have a small two bedroom unit in a retirement village. It is lovely, but nevertheless it was an emotional time, selling up and choosing which things to keep, which to divest themselves of. Some beautiful things went.

As I helped them settle, we discovered a crabapple tree, with its final lot of green fruits clinging doggedly to the tree, and many more below nestled in the autumn leaves. I saw immediately crabapple jelly.

crab apples recipe

But how to get red crabapple jelly from green crabapples? Ah ha, I had a pomegranate sitting on my kitchen bench! Just the thing. And I wanted to supplement the flavour of the jelly.

Dried rosebudsI could have added a couple of cloves, or half a vanilla bean, or half a stick of cinnamon. Any would have produced a wonderful, enigmatic flavoured jelly that would be delicious. But instead I added some dried rose buds to scent the apples and pomegranate with a subtle waft of rose blossoms. Just the thing.

Recipe Notes

crab apples recipeI like my jams not overly sweet, so I am heavy handed with the lemon and lighter with the sugar. The recipe here uses “normal” quantities, so adjust for your tastes. Just keep in mind that if you are reducing the sugar you are also reducing the keeping quality of the jam. Because I prefer to make small batches of jam, this isn’t a problem for me. Also, I store my jams in the fridge, which avoids all the difficulties of making large quantities of jam that you want to keep for ages in cupboards. Jams will last in the fridge a long time.

There really weren’t very many crabapples – I made two jars of jelly. Just enough for my parents and myself! Note that I am not a master jam maker – I make great jam that is sometimes set, sometimes nearly set and sometimes still quite runny. I prefer it that way. I love having jam that I can also use as icecream topping, stirred into porridge, or as a sauce with fresh fruit. This jam, for example, with a little finely torn basil or fresh thyme leaves, stirred through fresh fruit salad, would be amazing!

Crab Apple and Pomegranate Jelly

Source : inspired by some green crabapples at my parent’s new unit
Prep time: 15 mins + straining time
Cooking time: 90 mins
Serves:a lot of pieces of toast

18 – 20 small green crabapples
seeds from 0.5 pomegranate, with all bitter white casings removed
juice of 1 – 1.5 lemons
2 cloves, small stick cinnamon or small handful of dried rosebuds from Asian Shop (all optional)

Cover the crabapples and pomegranate seeds with water and lemon juice. Simmer until the crabapples are soft.

Strain the liquid without pressing down on the fruit – this keeps the final jelly clear. Allow to drip for several hours or overnight. Note that the liquid might look cloudy at this stage but is likely to clear once you add the sugar.

Pour the liquid through muslin to remove any remaining particles. Return the liquid to a saucepan and add a cup of sugar for each cup of liquid. Bring to the boil and simmer until setting point is reached. Test this by placing a drop of hot jam onto a cold saucer, allow to cool for a few moments. If a skin forms on the drop and prevents it from spreading when you tilt the saucer, the setting point had been reached.

Pour into sterilised jars and allow to cool.

Bon appetite!

crab apple and pomegranate jelly recipe



About Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.
This entry was posted in 04 Mid Autumn, crabapples, Jam, Pomegranate, Vegan, VEGETARIAN and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Crabapple and Pomegranate Jelly with Rosebuds

  1. bee says:

    gorgeous. which type of asian shop carries rosebuds? arabic? chinese? i’ve seen some moroccan dishes spice mixes that use them. i would like to buy some dried rosebuds, but haven’t found any.

    Hi bee. I buy rosebuds in a large Asian (mainly Chinese) shop in Adelaide. Chinese people use them for teas. They are quite small little buds, sometimes I can’t find them and have to ask. There is a picture of them here and I have also inserted the img into the post. Keep in mind that they are tiny, about 1cm or less in length. I have not seen them in the Persian shop here (altho have not been looking for them) but have found other wonderful flowers for cooking there.


  2. Lucy says:

    Am gobsmacked.

    And wishing I had found such treasure. I do believe that those old fashioned trees, like the quince, when left to their own devices fruit almost forever.

    You’re a woman after my own heart. As a small person I loved sugar – adored it – but the older I get, the less sweetness I want.

    I hope your parents settle comfortably!

    Hi Lucy, I love quinces too, and make a wonderful quince jelly, tart-ish in nature, made from the juices released by overnight cooking of quinces in a low oven. With spices, of course.

    My parents love their new place and are wondering what to do with all their spare time.


  3. Lisa says:

    Just perfect! I too prefer a jam that is not packed full of sweetness. Best wishes to your parents in their new home.

    Hi Lisa, me too! Thanks for your wishes. They are settling nicely, so far.


  4. priyanka says:

    yummy ,..still havent prepared jelly ever,.but this for sure looks delicious,.

    Hi priyanka, do try, it is so easy really!.


  5. Arundathi says:

    Beautiful – must’ve been delicious!

    Mmmmm. on toast for breakfast. very nice. Lovely to see you as always, Arundathi.


  6. Lore says:

    That jelly looks perfect and fresh! That’s a great pairing you have in it.

    Thank you, Lore, it was a magical mix of ingredients that worked really well.


  7. bhags says:

    the color is fantastic and very inviting….well ingredients are new to me though, will see where i can get them

    It might have to be autumn before you can get crabapples again – here it is hard to find them in a shop. Best to know someone with a tree. They are very often red and produce the most wonderfully coloured jelly/jam. With these green ones, the pomegranate worked exceptionally well.

    BTW loved your post on eating with your fingers.


  8. Suganya says:

    I have seen dried rose buda in India. I used to add them in pulao. Don’t find them here anymore.

    How interesting! If you look at My French Kitchen’s recent post, she has some on the table. I love them.


  9. Cynthia says:

    I heard of but never seen or tried crabapples. What do they taste like?

    Hi Cynthia, they definitely have an apple taste but are quite sour.


  10. Pixie says:

    Crabapples are new to me as well- what a lovely entry and I’m glad to come across entries with not too much sugar in them. May I ask, how much sugar was added to your Jam? (didn’t see the amount in the recipe) Thank you so much for taking part of the event!

    The rule of thumb is to add 1 cup of sugar for each cup of liquid (once it has been strained). I add about .75 cup or even less when I am making jam or jelly. This reduces the keeping power of the jam, but I only make small amounts at one time, and keep it in the fridge.

    Looking forward to the roundup!


  11. Rosie says:

    You have brought fond memories back of crab apple picking as a child. Your preserve is amazing thank you for taking part in this event :D

    Hi Rosie. So nice to bring back memories, isn’t it?


  12. Pixie says:

    Hi again, thanks for the reply and wanted to let you know the event is up and running, thanks again for taking part.

    Thanks for letting us know, Pixie. It is a great roundup!


  13. jamice jelly says:

    In these tough time we need to go back and learn what our grandparents did and there making jelly and salsa are so inexpensive too make cost less than a $1 save some money have fun with you family and make some and pass on the gift and skill that maybe need in these times just think there people selling this stuff for top dollars maybe you can too and great gifts for family and friends as well and homemade wow be proud and jelly for pennys for everyone

    We do, jamice. Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment.


  14. Happy Grandmama says:

    And I thought my granddaughter invented crab apple/pomegranate jelly! My grandchildren and I just finished making our Christmas jelly from crab apples from their great-great-great-great grandfather’s tree in Georgia. We usually use scuppernongs, but this year we didn’t have many, so we tried the crab apples. We were eating pomegranates just for fun while we waited for the apples to cook and my five year old said, “Hey, we can have red jelly for Christmas if we put in the pomegrante juice.” This is what life’s all about.


  15. Lucy says:

    Well, I’ll be blowed. Here is your extraordinary recipe – and here I am with two trees worth of crabapples!

    It’s raining, heavily, but I am donning a waterproof jacket and boots right now to get picking before any more of my Saturday morning is wasted.


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  18. it sounds very good!! we have a small crabapple tree that is loaded this year but not ready quite yet, i’ve mixed crabapples with quite a few things because it’s such a good pectin buddy :D
    wonderful blog btw …


  19. Leone Evrenos says:

    Just found this recipe, sounds wonderful! i was wondering could the dried rosebuds be substituted for rosewater? i have a bottle of this in my cupboard, if so how much would i need to use for this recipe as it has quite a strong aroma.


    • Ganga says:

      Hi Leone, yes, the flavour from the rosebuds is very delicate so try a teaspn of rosewater. Taste it as it nears setting point and add a little more if you think it needs it. Good luck!


  20. Leone Evrenos says:

    Can the strained juice from my crab apples and rose hips be frozen for a short period until i can get hold of enough jars?


  21. chickiepea says:

    I got this to the setting point that you describe, but the liquid in the jar will not gel. Hmmmm


    • Ganga108 says:

      Usually adding more lemon juice will do the trick. I am not sure why it would not gel as both the crabapples and pomegranate have loads of pectin in them.

      Runny jam can always be used to top icecream, use in smoothies, add to poached fruit etc…..


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