Traditional British jellies and jams are often high in refined sugar, but this recipe uses 20% less sugar and only unrefined golden rather than refined white.

It has a fantastic flavour, texture and colour and is really very simple to make.

Looking for more about apples?

The British apple season marks the start of autumn as trees heavy with fruit are harvested to be eaten fresh, cooked into crumbles or pies, and mulled to make cider. Discover the best British apple varieties for eating, cooking and drinking in our expert guide.

British apple guide: traditional varieties and easy recipe ideas

Woman collecting basket of apples


250g/9oz crab apples, roughly chopped
  • 200g/7oz golden granulated sugar


  • STEP 1

    Place the apples in a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover them. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat, place a lid on and simmer for 30 minutes, mashing the fruits occasionally with a fork or wooden spoon.

  • STEP 2

    Using a jelly bag or muslin cloth, strain the fruits into a bowl or measuring jug, allowing the juice to drip through. Suspend the cloth or bag above the container (tie above or fit to the container with a strong elastic bag) and leave to strain for a couple of hours or overnight.

  • STEP 3

    Discard the fruits and measure out the juice. Pour into a medium saucepan and add 15g/1/2oz sugar for every 25ml/3⁄4fl oz juice (60g/21⁄4oz sugar to every 100ml/31/2fl oz juice). Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then bring to a rolling boil for 10–15 minutes until the temperature reaches 105°C/221°F on a sugar thermometer.

    The jelly sets very quickly, so once off the heat pour immediately into sterilised jars and seal. Keeps for up to 6 months in the fridge.

This recipe was extracted from Wild and Sweet (published by Hoxton Mini Press) by Rachel Lambert with photography by Elliott White.

Wild and Sweet front cover


Rachel Lambert is a wild food tutor, forager and award-winning author of Wild & Sweet (Hoxton Mini Press, £25). For more information, see