Crabapple and Pomegranate Jelly with Rosebuds

Red jelly from green crab apples.

crab apples recipe

I have access to a lovely tree of green crabapples and in late Autumn, with its final lot of green fruits clinging doggedly to the tree, many more lie below nestled in the autumn leaves. It took me back to more rustic times, to days of jam making in my Grandmother’s kitchen, to stirring jam in large preserving pans with huge wooden sticks.

You might be interested in our Jam recipes here and here, and Apple recipes here and here. Be inspired by our Autumn recipes here and here.

crab apples recipe

Green jam is not so appealing though, and so pomegranate was added for colour and flavour. For addition appeal, consider adding some spice.

Dried rosebudsA couple of cloves,  half a vanilla bean, or half a stick of cinnamon would add depth and dimension. Any of these would produce a wonderful, enigmatic flavoured jelly that would be delicious. Another option is to add some dried rose buds to scent the apples and pomegranate with a subtle waft of rose blossoms. These are available from Asian grocery shops.

Recipe Notes

Jam sweetness is personal preference. If your preference is not overly sweet, be heavy handed with the lemon and lighter with the sugar. The recipe here uses “normal” quantities, so adjust for your tastes. Keep in mind that the sugar is reduced, it also reduces the keeping quality of the jam. It is best to make smaller quantities of jam in this case, and  store the jam in the fridge. Jams will last in the fridge a long time.

The degree of set of the jam is also personal preference and that can vary over time. I make great jam that is sometimes set, sometimes nearly set and sometimes still quite runny. I prefer it that way. It is great to have jam that can also be 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 jelly recipe

Crab Apple and Pomegranate Jelly

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




Author: 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.

33 thoughts on “Crabapple and Pomegranate Jelly with Rosebuds”

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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.


  5. 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.


  6. 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.


  7. 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!


  8. 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😀

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


  9. 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!


  10. 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.


  11. 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.


  12. 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.


  13. 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😀
    wonderful blog btw …


  14. Hi,
    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.


    1. 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!


  15. 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?


    1. 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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