How to Make Beautiful Rosehip and Crab Apple Jelly

by Sarah - Craft Invaders

Rosehip and Crab Apple Jelly is a delicious recipe made from foraged fruits. This delightful preserve tastes lovely with both sweet and savoury dishes and makes a fabulous home-made gift.


Rose Hip and Crab Apple Jelly is a fabulous recipe made from foraged fruits. This delicious preserve that tastes wonderful in both sweet and savoury dishes, and makes a fabulous home-made gift to take along to a party.


Crab Apples (and apples in general) are high in Pectin which is what you need to give Jams and Jellies a good set. They are therefore perfect as a base for any hedgerow Jelly.

The difference between jam and jelly is that jelly is made strictly from the juice of fruit (with all the other parts strained out) while jam is made from crushed fruit.

Foraged fruit is perfect for Jelly making; there’s far less fiddling around preparing the fruit and removing seeds, and as you haven’t had to buy the fruit, the far smaller yield is less of a problem.

As the resulting Jelly is perfectly smooth, it is ideal for adding to savoury dishes (such as using it to enrich gravy) as well as using it as a traditional preserve


Foraged Rosehip and Crabapple Jelly recipe


This Rosehip and Crab Apple Jelly recipe can be used as a template for any Jelly.

You could substitute the rose hips for any edible hedgerow berries; blackberries, damsons, hawthorn berries and rowan are popular or indeed use a mix of different fruits.

Equally, plain old Crab Apple Jelly is also lovely and is the perfect base for any herb jelly.


Foraged Rosehip and Crabapple Jelly recipe


The rosehips I used here were from my freezer. Please see our Freezing Foraged Fruits post to read why I like to freeze my fruit.

If you are using rosehips that haven’t been frozen, you might want to simmer them for 15 mins or so to start them softening before you add your apples.

When I make Rosehip and Crab Apple Jelly I use preserving sugar as the bigger crystals allegedly results in a clearer Jelly. Granulated sugar would also be okay to use.

How to make Rosehip and Crab Apple Jelly

  • 500g Rosehips
  • 1kg Crab Apples
  • 1 lemon
  • About a litre of water
  • Sugar ( I used preserving)

Wash your fruit and remove any stalks.

Throw it all into a large pan, cutting your apples into half or quarters if they are large, adding the juice from the lemon and enough water to almost cover. 

It is advised not to use Aluminum pans for jam making as the metal reacts with the acids in the fruit.  I use a wide-based enamel pan for preserve making.


Foraged Rosehip and Crabapple Jelly recipe

Cook your fruit down into a pulp. Once it starts to soften you can use a potato masher to encourage the process. My fruit took about 40mins to cook down into this pulp.

If you use fruits such as Damsons the stones will float to the surface as the fruit breaks up. This isn’t a problem with a Jelly as you’ll be straining your pulp next.


Foraged Rosehip and Crabapple Jelly recipe


I have a jelly bag and stand, so I simply tip my pulp into this. Alternatively, line a colander with muslin and strain through that.

Traditionally you leave the juice to drip out overnight, as squeezing the bag will result in a cloudy Jelly. I follow the traditional method, but do whatever works for you.


Foraged Rosehip and Crabapple Jelly recipe


Once your juice has dripped through the bag, measure the resulting quantity. I ended up with about 700mls of juice.

You need 450g sugar for every 600mls of juice, so in my case, I used 525g of sugar.

Depending on what fruit you are using you could use the resulting pulp to make fruit leather. As Rosehip seeds are relatively unpalatable in my opinion, mine went in the bin.


Foraged Rosehip and Crabapple Jelly recipe


Heat your juice and sugar slowly until the sugar has dissolved, then allow it to come up to a rolling boil. Boil hard for 10-15 mins until your Rosehip and Crab Apple jelly has reached 105C on a preserving thermometer.

If you don’t have a thermometer, spoon a little jelly onto a saucer you have chilled in a freezer. Leave for 30 secs, then push with your finger; if the jelly wrinkles and doesn’t flood to fill the gap, it is ready. 


Foraged Rosehip and Crabapple Jelly


Don’t worry about any scum that rises to the surface while the jelly is boiling, once it is ready and you have removed it from the heat stir in a small lump of butter, which will disperse the scum. This photo was taken after I added the butter and the scum had started to disperse.


Foraged Rosehip and Crabapple Jelly


Pour into clean, dry, hot jars that have been sterilised in a warm oven. I use clean, screw on lids for my preserves rather than waxed discs. 

I made 7 small pots of Rosehip and Crab Apple Jelly – approximately 800mls in total.  Store in a cool dark place if not using immediately.  This Jelly should be good for at least 6 months while unopened.

If you have enjoyed this autumnal recipe, you may also enjoy our   Amazing Amaretti Apple Tart, our delicious Quince Cheese and our Fabulous Sloe Gin.


Rose Hip and Crab Apple Jelly is a fabulous recipe made from foraged fruits. This delicious preserve that tastes wonderful in both sweet and savoury dishes, and makes a fabulous home-made gift to take along to a party.

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Jackie Bodimead October 20, 2021 - 11:41 am

Thank you for your lovely recipes, I’ve just picked lots of rosehips and will be making this jelly with some crab apples x

Sarah - Craft Invaders October 30, 2021 - 11:17 pm

Thank you so much for your kind comment Jackie :)

Will V October 21, 2019 - 9:29 pm


Thanks so much for the brilliant recipe. 2 quick questions here, if that’s okay?

1) do you cook the rosehips with the seeds in and just strain them out? I heard there are ichy fibres in the fruit… do they just cook out?

2) Should I seal the jars as soon as the jelly is in or should they be allowed to cool first?

Thanks again!

Sarah - Craft Invaders October 21, 2019 - 10:55 pm

Hi Will, thanks for your questions. I do cook the rosehips with the seeds in, then strain it. Because you let the juice drain out without forcing it through the muslin I find none of the seeds pass through into the juice. I always seal my preserves straight away without leaving them to cool. Hope that helps :)

Dempo October 10, 2019 - 4:24 pm

really clear recipe, thanks!

Sarah - Craft Invaders October 21, 2019 - 10:31 am

Thank you Dempo :)

Trisha Rogers May 19, 2019 - 5:38 am

If I had to do this with dried rise hips how much would I use with this recipe?

Sarah - Craft Invaders May 19, 2019 - 6:51 pm

Hi Trisha The set comes from the crab apples so it wont matter too much but I’d probably aim for about 200g if it was me. I think I’d also soak them in a little water for a few hours or overnight before using them for this recipe to rehydrate them. I’d love to hear how you get on using dried rosehips as I haven’t tried them :)

Trish R. May 20, 2019 - 12:50 am

I found a different conversion that said that you need about two cups of dried rose hips for a liter of water. I use that conversion with your recipe and Granny Smith apples. Not only did I walk away for a second too long and the pan overflowed but I think my sugar scorched and I ended up with very dark syrup. It also did not set. I used one apple for every liter of fluid. This time I think I will use pectin instead. Your recipe is a little sweeter than I’d like so I think I’m going to cut back the sugar a little and possibly use a low sugar pectin. I’m in tears over the loss of the first batch. My juice that I let’s train overnight ended up being 1800 ml since I was tripling the recipe. Any words of wisdom?

Sarah - Craft Invaders May 20, 2019 - 7:42 am

Oh Trish you must be so frustrated. I think I’d make a smaller batch rather than trying to up the recipe. The more fluid you have the longer you’ll have to boil it for the jelly to reach a set. I think you need about a kg of apples for every litre of water so I’d be using 4-6 big ones and once they are cut up be just covering them with water in a pan. The lemon juice also helps with the set so it’s worth using that too. Good luck with the next batch x

Busygreenmum December 4, 2016 - 2:00 pm

Just making this now – smells fab and the pink colour is amazing. I need to pick a lot more next time though – what I had foraged only yielded about 300mls liquid so am expecting to end up with a couple of small jars. I always seem to make too little for the thermometer to sit in the liquid enough to work.

Sarah - Craft Invaders December 7, 2016 - 2:42 pm

Yield is definitely the downside to making Jelly, it’s one of the reasons I use foraged fruits to make them – it’d be a very expensive product if you had to buy the fruit in for them! Thank you for letting me know you made it, it’s so lovely to hear of someone trying one of our recipes :)

Kellie September 24, 2016 - 3:03 pm

Sarah, I don’t even know what Rose Hips are. But your jelly looks amazing.

Sarah - Craft Invaders September 30, 2016 - 9:56 am

Oh I wonder what you call them in the States then – they are simply the fruit from the rose Kelly. I believe all roses and their fruits are edible x

Becky, Cuddle Fairy September 30, 2015 - 11:56 am

This looks so lovely & delicious, perfect for the autumn! Thanks so much for linking up with #foodpornthursdays x

Sarah September 30, 2015 - 12:25 pm

Thanks for having us x

Honest mum September 28, 2015 - 2:00 pm

Oh wow, love the flavours and jam making is so autumnal and homely to me x

Sarah September 28, 2015 - 5:23 pm

I have lovely memories of helping my Mum making Jam when we were little which I think is why I love to do it with the kids now :)

Verily Victoria Vocalises September 26, 2015 - 10:01 am

This sounds divine! I have never made my own jam/jelly and I really should give it a try. Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x

Sarah September 26, 2015 - 10:10 am

Oh you should – it gives you a great sense of achievement :)