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Hot crab apple and chilli jelly recipe

crab apple and chilli jellyEveryone seems to be talking about chillies. They are said to trigger “feel good” endorphins and are packed with vitamin A, an immune system boosting antioxidant. Chillies improve the digestive process too as they stimulate the action of the intestine and stomach.

This year I was determined to make crab apple and chilli jelly. My first attempt was so so. There was a chilli tingle when I tasted the juice. I chucked it away. My recipe from Oded Schwartz’s Preserving added 3-4 medium heat chillis. Are these desseded? I’d used three desseded ones. A long foray on the Internet offered no clues. Chop and add your chillis seemed to be the line. So when I simmered my crab apples and chillies a couple of days ago, I left the seeds in. The result was a tasty juice with just the sort of kick I wanted. Hot but not hellish.

Hot crab apple and chilli jelly recipe


  • 600g of crab apples washed and chopped
  • 35g of medium red chilli peppers, washed and chopped with seeds in
  • 1 litre of water
  • White granulated sugar 500g to each 500ml of juice


  1. Put the chopped crab apples and chillies in a large heavy bottomed saucepan.
  2. Add 1 litre of water (they should just be floating). Bring tp the boil and simmer until the crab apples soften and become pulpy (lid on). This took about 45 minutes.
  3. Strain through a muslin square or jelly bag overnight. (Retain the pulp to make hot crab apple and chilli cheese)
  4. Add the juice to a large heavy bottomed pan and add the sugar. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When the juice and sugar has come to the boil remove from the heat and skim well. Return to the heat and bring to a rolling boil until setting point is reached. This took 15 minutes.
  5. Skim and pour into warm sterilised jars. Oded Schwartz adds a chilli (stalk removed and split once lengthwise) as the jelly is setting. I really wanted to set chillies in the jelly but be warned this is a nightmare. The jelly needs to be setting firmly otherwise the chillies gently float to the surface again, and again and again. I made two jars with chillies and abandoned the rest.
  6. Update: Following Sarah’s tip (see comments),I added two firey dried chopped chillies to the jelly. Marvellous.


  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Keth

    Yes, you should have enough for the jelly. Scotch Bonnet Chillies are the biz.

    Chilli vodka sounds intriguing. Our chilli sherry clears all nasal passages but fills a room with eager imbibers with just a whisper.

    Love to hear about your chilli jam (and vodka).

  2. went out earlier and scouted around. Some of them are a bit eaten, but i can cut those parts away.. i too was surprised i only needed 600g of crab apple. Still, i’ve got more than that (uncut/peeled) – about 1kg – so i figure that should give me enough. The local shop sells Scotch Bonnet Chillis (very spicy) so i’m going to use those to make this – OH *adores* chillis. I’m already fighting him off from the chilli vodka in the fridge, and i have plans to make chilli jam as well!!! I’ll let you know how i get on 🙂

    thanks again!


  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Kethry,


    I was surprised that 600g of crab apples turned into five medium jars of jelly. We wish that we’d done this earlier on in the season as the jelly is so good. I may try a Bramley apple chilli jelly.

  4. oooh thanks for the tip (about the pillowcase).. I’ll definetly start picking up the windfalls now.. i might’ve left it too late to get very much but we’ll see what i can find 🙂

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Amanda,

    I have found one decent tree locally (foraging 5 square miles). The jelly is so good that we actually are planning to by a crab apple tree to guarantee that we will be able to make this jelly in the future. And that says it all.

  6. This sounds so good! I had some chilli jam this evening that I got in our local deli.

  7. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Pat,

    The recipe is good. Danny is not keen on knock your spots off chilli. I like hot chilli. We both enjoyed this one this evening, with Musk’s sausages and champ. Piquant, sweet and perfect.

    Hi Kethry,

    I love the Oded Schwartz ‘Preserving’ book. Danny found it for me on Ausralian Ebay last Christmas. A longed for present.

    You don’t need an official jelly bag to make jelly. An old pillowcase or tea towel will do. Just iron it to sterilise it. When you have finished rinse off the residue and bring it slowly to the boil with some washing powder, in a saucepan on top of the stove. This should remove any stains.

    Hi Matron,

    Yes, the chart in the back of Oded Schwartz’s book is very handy. I love his enthusiasm and the recipes are great too. Thanks for dropping by.

  8. I too love Oded Schwartz’s book. I bought it when I was in the USA. I particularly like the chart at the back which shows the levels of pectin and acid in fruit and veg. That chilli crabapple sounds great!

  9. Oded Schwartz’s book is great. I borrowed it from the library and it has to go back next week.. ARGH! I shall have to copy out some of the recipes.. I’ve got a crab apple tree in the garden… this would be a lovely jelly to make. might see if i can get a jelly bag…

  10. Sounds like another lovely recipe Fiona!!

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