PH Eats: Crabapple & Thyme Jelly

Crabapples can’t be eaten raw and require cooking. This is an excellent way to use them, as their high pectin content makes a great jelly that sets beautifully. If you don’t have crabapples, use cooking apples. Good with game terrine, duck, slow-roast pork belly and soft, sharp goat’s cheese.
Makes 8 x 220 ml jars


  • 2 kg crabapples or cooking apples
  • 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 20 g fresh thyme
  • White granulated sugar (about 1.8 kg, depending on yield)
  • 150 ml cider vinegar or white wine vinegar


  • Sharp knife and chopping board
  • Jelly bag or muslin measuring 60 x 60 cm
  • 8 x 220 ml jars with lids
  • Large saucepan
  • Sugar thermometer
  • Slotted spoon


  • Place a small plate in the freezer.
  • Wash and cut up the apples, leaving on the skins and cores.
  • Wash and slice the lemon.
  • Scald the jelly bag or muslin in a kettle of hot water to sterilise it.
  • Sterilise the jars by boiling jars and lids in a deep pan; dry them, then heat them upturned in an oven, pre-heated to 110°C for 20 mins.
  • Wash the thyme and pick the leaves from one sprig.

Place the crab-apples in a large saucepan; lay on the lemon and sprigs of thyme and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and gently cook for one hour, until completely soft.

Strain through the bag or muslin into a clean pot and leave overnight to drip. Don’t squeeze the bag or the jelly will be cloudy. Next day, measure the liquid and discard the bits left in the bag.

For every 600 ml of liquid, add 450 g of sugar. Add the vinegar and bring slowly to the boil. Once the sugar dissolves, increase the heat and take the jelly to 104.5°C/220°F on a sugar thermometer. Skim the scum with a slotted spoon, to give a clear jelly.

Good Food for Your Table by Melrose & MorganOnce the setting point is reached (104.5°C), check the set using the cold plate. Add the thyme leaves, allow to cool for 10 minutes, then pour into the sterilised jars. Seal the jars while hot, then allow to cool. This keeps for 12 months in a cool spot.

Taken from: Good Food for Your Table: A Grocer’s Guide, Melrose &  Morgan

Melrose & Morgan
42 Gloucester Avenue
020 7722 0011

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