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Crab Apple Jelly (Bernardin Pectin)

Crab Apple Jelly Bernardin Pectin at

In my prior post, I made Crab Apple Jelly the old fashioned way without commercial pectin. However, it is a finicky way to make the jelly and requires some precision with temperatures and cooking. So I thought I would try making a batch with commercial pectin and compare the results.

The recipe for making crab apple jelly with Bernadin Pectin is at:

Crab Apple Jelly

Crab Apple Jelly Bernadin 1

I cut the blossom and stem ends off the crab apples and cut them in half. I brought it to a boil, mashed the fruit and boiled further.

Crab Apple Jelly Bernadin 2

I poured the mixture into a jelly bag and let it drain for 8 hours.

Crab Apple Jelly Bernadin 3

I put the jars in a hot water canner and boiled them for 10 minutes.

Crab Apple Jelly 5

I added the Bernardin Pectin to the juice and a bit of margarine. I brought it to the boil and added the sugar.

I returned it to the boil and boiled it hard as instructed.

Crab Apple Jelly Bernadin 4

I took the juice off the heat and skimmed any foam off with a metal spoon. I poured the hot jelly into the jars to within 1/4 inch from the top. I put the inserts and rings on the jars and tightened with my fingertips.

I put the jars back in the canner and brought it to the boil. As I live at higher altitude, I boiled it for 20 minutes. If you were at lower altitude you would boil for 10 minutes.

Crab Apple Jelly Bernadin 5

I put the jars upright on a counter and let them sit for 24 hours. All the inserts popped downwards. If any stayed curved up, I would use those right away.

The jelly can be stored for up to a year in a cool dark place.

Crab Apple Jelly Bernadin 6

The Verdict

This is a very nice jelly. It has a nice flavour, a pretty pink colour and a good consistency. I will enjoy using it over the next year.

That being said, it isn’t as good as the old fashioned method without commercial pectin. Let’s do a detailed analysis.


The old fashioned method has a nice tart sweet balance with a definite apple taste. The Bernardin method has a good flavour but it is sweeter with less apple flavour.


The old fashioned method is a bright red colour I love. The Bernardin method is a pretty pink but is not as vibrant.


The jelly consistence from the old fashioned method is more spreadable. The Bernardin is fine with a nice jelly texture but is a little more set up.

If you are willing to do more work and to be more detailed with temperature management the old method makes the better product. However, if you want an easier method with less chance of failure, the Bernardin method makes a fine product that is very good but just a little lower quality.

You decide!

The Old Fat Guy


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10 Responses

  1. I have to admit I am glad the old fashioned way won out. It would be nice to use the easier method without worry, but sometimes things are worth the extra effort!

  2. I love crab apples but have never seen jelly! I also love biscuits and jelly, a good’ol southern country boy.

    You actually made my mouth water.

    It sounds and looks like you took this outta the park!

    BTW Food color makes anything the way you want it.

    1. You’ve never had crab apple jelly? You poor man. It is a favourite around here and goes great on biscuits. There is no need for food colouring if the crab apples are nice and red.

  3. Personally I like the color you got, its very distinctive. Not as dark as a plum.

    LOL… I swear my mouth started watering again thinking about it. LOL

    We don’t have crabby apples. Well except for the spiced ones in the jars around Thanksgiving. LOL

  4. You can vary the colour by how much apple skin goes in. With crab apples you shouldn’t need an excess of pectin so if necessary I put some lemon rind and seeds in a muslin bag and put it in the brew.

    Also you might like to try adding some chilli. You can add various types depending on how hot you like your chillies. A friend of mine makes Chilli Crab Apple jelly and it is delicious.

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