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Making Jams and Jellies

Crabapple Jelly
without added pectin

  • 4 cups crabapple juice (about 3 pounds of crabapples and 3 cups water)
  • 4 cups sugar

Yield: About 5 or 6 half-pint jars

Please read Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: Sterilize canning jars and prepare two-piece canning lids according to manufacturer's directions.

To Prepare Juice — Select firm, crisp crabapples, about ¼ firm ripe and ¾ fully ripe. Sort, wash and remove stem and blossom ends; do not pare or core. Cut crabapples into small pieces. Add water, cover and bring to boil on high heat. Stir to prevent scorching. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until crabapples are soft. Do not overcook; excess boiling will destroy the pectin, flavor and color. When fruit is tender, pour everything through a double layer of dampened cheesecloth or a damp jelly bag. Suspend the bag over a bowl or pan, using a stand or colander to hold the bag. Drain the juice without pressing or squeezing, which will cause cloudy jelly. If a fruit press is used, the juice should be restrained through a jelly bag.

To Make JellySterilize canning jars. Measure juice into saucepot. Add sugar and stir well. Boil over high heat until the temperature measures 8°F above the boiling point of water (220°F at sea level), or until the jelly mixture sheets from a metal spoon. (See Testing Jelly Without Added Pectin.)

Remove from heat; skim off foam quickly. Pour hot jelly immediately into hot, sterile jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; adjust two-piece metal canning lids. Process in a Boiling Water Canner.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Crabapple Jelly in a boiling water canner.
  Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Half-pints
or Pints
5 min 10 15


This document was adapted from "So Easy to Preserve", 5th ed. 2006. Bulletin 989, Cooperative Extension Service, The University of Georgia, Athens. Revised by Elizabeth L. Andress. Ph.D. and Judy A. Harrison, Ph.D., Extension Foods Specialists.

This jelly was also printed in "How to Make Jellies, Jams and Preserves at Home." Home and Garden Bulletin No. 56. Extension Service, United States Department of Agriculture. 1982 reprint.

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