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Hot crabapple chilli cheese

Photo: Crabapple jelly and crabapple cheese

Photo: Crabapple jelly and crabapple cheese

I only discovered how delicious fruit cheeses are a few years ago. Until then I had rejected them out of hand – using the left over pulp from jelly making seemed skinflint behaviour to me. And anyway would this pulp have any flavour at all?

I didn’t even bother to taste the pulp when jelly making which was a big mistake as I missed out on this treat. Fruit cheese can be sliced and served with starters, chops, roasts, cheese and even with fruit desserts.

Crabapples, particularly when they first start to ripen often produce very little juice. But the jelly making process leaves a lot of pulp. By turning this into cheese you are using all of your foraged bounty (crabapples are not generally for sale in the shops as they aren’t grown commercially in the UK).

I’ve deliberately used a small amount of crabapples in this recipe as the less that you use dramatically effects time that it takes to make the cheese. Our quince cheese recipe (Membrillo) can take several hours to thicken.

I took a tip from Sarah who left a comment on our hot crabapple chilli jelly recipe and added some chopped dried chillies just before potting. Excellent. Thank you Sarah.

This recipe made just over a pound of jelly and four small straight sided jars of cheese.

Hot crab apple and chilli cheese 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 320g to each 400ml of pulp
• 2-3 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
• 2-3 small chopped dried Bird’s Eye chillies to be added at the end just before potting up

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 to the boil and simmer very gently (lid on) until the crab apples soften and become pulpy. This took about 45 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice.
3. Strain through a muslin square or jelly bag overnight.
4. Retain the juice for hot crabapple jelly – our recipe is here.

5. Strain the pulp through a sieve
6. Add the pulp to a large heavy bottomed pan and add the sugar. Bring very slowly to the boil, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar.
7. When the sugar is dissolved simmer gently stirring every now and then until the pulp thickens. This took me about twenty minutes as I was using a large pan, it would take more time in a smaller pan. Watch the sides of the saucepan, when you notice the pulp thickening on the sides the cheese is ready.
8. Dollop into well greased (I used olive oil) warm sterilised flat sided jars. Fit cellophane tops or lids and leave to cool.

  Leave a reply


  1. highlander

    Hi what about using the pulp from brambles etc for bramble and crabapple cheese, I never throw any pulp away except the rowan pulp left from that jelly. (too bitter)you can always make a cheese of some variety just use imagination

  2. Many thanks for this recipe it looks great. I’m hoping to have a go at spiced crab apple jelly (my aunt’s recipe) and this should compliment it nicely by using the pulp.

    My only problem is time and I’m just hoping the crab apples will still be around by the time I want to do this in two or three weeks.

  3. Hi
    Daft me thought fruit cheeses only had a few months shelf life not sure why but thanks for letting me know. Will make some up ASAP sounds lovely.

  4. Boo hoo – I’m still catching up on the posts after being away and have just thrown my crab apple pulp on the compost heap this morning bfore reading this! I did read that you could make cheese from the pulp left over from jelly making but didn’t know how and thought I wouldn’t have time to work it out! We got the crab apples on hol in Scotland too – never seen any down here in Westcountry. Never mind there’s loads of other things to do and not loads of time, it’s such a busy time of year, can’t do it all. Just have to go back to Scot next year! BTW fn I’ve had an email from Westfalia to say my juice extractor has been despatched so thank you so much for the info. Am off for more foraging this afternoon!

  5. I love fruit cheese. The recipe I have uses the juice as well, I make cheese with the cherry plums around here, and I’ve also made it with apricots, both delicious. I used a flat dish to set it in, and a plastic container to keep it in. It kept in the pantry for well over a year, just got a bit crystalized at the end. My notes say you can freeze it as well.
    I serve it on crackers along with real cheese
    I love the idea of chilli’s added, Thank’s for the great tip.

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Tricia

    The fruit cheese should have a shelf life of about a year. I’m sure that you could freeze it but I don’t bother – I just protect well from mice who love it!

  7. Hi As I understand it the fruit cheeses has a shorted shelf life and I wondered if you could freeze them to extend this?

  8. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Ma

    If you heat up the pulp it’s easier to pass through a sieve.

    Hello Native Zebra

    I’ve checked out your post and unfortunately you can’t make jelly like that. You need to put the fruit in the top of your steamer and collect the juice below. The juice is used to make jelly – you have to make this in a separate pan and add sugar (like making jam). The pulp (the fruit in the steamer) is passed through a sieve and then put in a separate pan and sugar is added to make cheese.

    You can make cordials by layering sugar and fruit in your steamer but not jelly or cheese 🙁

    BTW I discovered a mini cookbook and instructions for a juicer steamer. I don’t know about you but I had no manual with my Lakeland steamer. The link to the booklet is here

  9. Naive Zebra

    HmmmI tried this last year.

    But whilst the recipe and process looked nice , not enough pectin was produced and it never set , it ended up more like a lava lamp , so , being a person that hated waster , it became the principle bait in my slug traps , to great success.

    Not the initial idea , Hot Apple and Chilli Slug catcher , but hey ho ever resourceful.

  10. What a great idea. I have always dumped the pulp before, but I’ll give this a go. I have crab apple and clove jelly to make this week.

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