Along the Grapevine

Wild Apple and Rose Geranium Jelly



Although our crab apples are not doing well this year, we do have one wild apple tree which is doing fine. You probably know the kind of apple I am talking about, the ones no one wants to pick, much less eat. They are small, irregular in shape and full of spots. On the other hand, they are pesticide and chemical free, and when cooked retain a good flavour and have a lovely colour. They are perfect for making things like jelly, where their appearance as a fruit does not affect the appearance of the final product. And why use perfect looking apples to make something like jelly?

For Angie’s Fiesta Friday #30 I wanted to make a special jelly, so added some flavour with my rose scented geranium. I notice this week there are a few recipes with rose flavouring, so this is turning out to be a bit of a rose fest.

This is the first year I have grown such a plant, but I hope to add other varieties to my collection of one next year. Although they don’t flower profusely like other geraniums, they do provide a delicious home-grown flavouring with their leaves and flowers. Mine is not flowering just now, but it does have some new buds, and the plant itself has grown beautifully since I planted it in the spring. For more information about these plants, read this here. I highly recommend adding one of these to your garden, even if all you have is a balcony or stoop, as they provide a wonderful source of exotic flavour from leaves and flowers.


If you don’t have a scented geranium, there are other things you could add to this jelly, such as a stick of cinnamon, some ginger, sweet herbs, orange blossom or rose water towards the end of cooking, or whatever you think mixes well with apple.

I began my recipe with two pounds of apples, but once I removed the cores, stems and nasty bits there was only one and three quarter pounds. This recipe can be altered to fit the amount you have just by changing the amount of the other ingredients proportionately.


Wild Apple and Rose Geranium Jelly

  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print


2 lbs apples

water, to cover

2 1/2 cups sugar

5 scented geranium leaves


Chop and clean the apples without peeling. Place them in a saucepan and cover with water. Simmer them until soft, about 1/2 hour. Strain through a jelly bag or cloth lined sieve. Do not press, or the juice will not be clear.

Pour off the juice, which in this recipe measured three cups. Return to the pan and add the sugar and leaves which should be tied up in a spice bag or piece of cheesecloth.

Bring to a boil and keep boiling for about 25 minutes. To test doneness, just drop a bit of liquid on a cool surface and see if it gels.

If you make a large quantity, this can be processed in a 10 minute water bath.


Wild Apple and Rose Geranium Jelly on Punk Domestics

At this time last year I posted a recipe using purslane:


Author: Hilda

I am a backyard forager who likes to share recipes using the wild edibles of our area.

46 thoughts on “Wild Apple and Rose Geranium Jelly

  1. That reads real cool!


  2. I like it! How did it taste? Thanks for going to all the trouble of peeling and pitting those little crab apples!


    • Thanks Sue. It was amazingly delicious – very apply but with just the right touch of rose. And I did not peel them at all – just removed any spots. It was the peel that gave it that lovely red colour. Peeling them would have been very difficult.


  3. I hope you have a jar of that lovely jelly stashed away for me 😉 color is awesome ❤ and we do not get either of the ingredients here and for that i am truly intrigued 🙂


  4. your making me hungry!! thanks for posting this recipe! Am looking forward to making some of my own jelly


  5. The color is so beautiful, Hilda 🙂 I’m sure it tastes good also!


  6. Love that first photo of all the little misshapen apples, and this jelly sounds delicious. Are wild apples higher in pectin than regular ones?


    • I know crabapples are higher in pectin, but I expect these little wild ones are too, because their texture is less watery than cultivated apples. But that is just an uneducated opinion. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful photos of tasty jelly. Rose and apple sounds like a lovely combination too


  8. The title alone had me day dreaming about blissful late summer days. Fabulous recipe!


  9. I enjoy baking with scented geraniums which I get through my local botanical gardens annual sale. I have 4 varieties this year and they are the most fragrant plants. Not much in flowers (very small) but the leaves with their colors and shapes make up for it and make a very pretty design on baked items. Unfortunately they do not make it through my harsh Michigan winters. I bet your jam is delicious 🙂


    • I have been thinking about doing the ‘design’ thing which I saw on a recipe for cake, but am hoping I can come up with other uses. I certainly was pleased with the flavour of the jelly.


  10. I have added them (flowers) to salads, flavored sugar, tea and the list goes on. I have a wonderful apple scented geranium this year which is really pretty – trailing white flowers – lovely plants 🙂


  11. Thanks, You have given me some good ideas for using these leaves.


  12. Amazing and must have tasted heavenly!


  13. Gosh it looks soooo wobbly wobbly. … love it’s fresh colour and bet it must have tasted great…..


  14. Apples in Canada taste amazing, there’s no doubt. I bet you jelly has to taste divine…. Love the idea of the next Autumn with some jars in the sideboard ready to be eaten. Thanks a lot Hilda for bring it over at FF!


  15. Yum! That looks delicious!


  16. Love the color looks so tempting


  17. I have 2 big planters of rose geranium. I got branches from an heirloom plant 20 years ago and they are still doing beautifully. I gave branches of them to a few people too. I live in suburbs of S.F. and they flower fully (pink) in April. I only knew to use it to add aroma to tea. Now you have taught me other use for it. Thank you, Hilda! The jell has beautiful color.


    • Thanks, Fae. The flavour is as beautiful as the colour. I have started using the leaves in more things, and plan to make a flavoured sugar to keep for the winter. That is marvellous you have kept yours for 20 years. I am hoping that if it acts like other geraniums, which I know it’s not but might act the same, I should be able to get cuttings and maybe even keep the main plant alive indoors in our rough winter. Here, it is common to throw away fragile plants like this, but I become a little attached to them and hate to see them die in the miserable cold.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Looks lovely. And apple jelly tastes even better after a couple years.


  19. What a fabulous idea! Our neighbor has a wild apple tree that drops countless blemished apples in our yard (right now as I type) and this is a great thing to do with them. I am curious about the rose geranium. Does this plant put off a lovely sweet scent?


    • Thanks for stopping by. Yes, the geranium does smell lovely. Unfortunately, I have it planted in a sunny area but where I don’t notice the perfume unless I get very close to it. I have also made tea with it, a honey syrup for glazing, and I am thinking of making some flavoured sugar for baking in the winter. Cooking with it does make the kitchen smell very nice. I am really keen to try some of the other varieties next spring, and also to try and keep them going even during winter.


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  22. I am always afraid of making jelly but your recipe makes me want to try. Would this work, do you think, with pear apples?


    • I think for pear apples you would be better to find a recipe for that, as I imagine them to have a lot less pectin. I was put off making jelly when I once made it too hard, so I tend to make it a little soft. It is worth giving it a try, and not really difficult at all. My second batch is even redder and more jelled. Will have to give an update photo.


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  24. you make it look so easy, dont you need pectin or lemons or something i can never get it right. just picked some elderberries and want to make jelly with this to go with meat, not sure what to use with it etc to make it set x


    • Apples have enough pectin so no need to add any – wild apples and crabapples even more. Elderberries would require pectin. But you can make your own using apples. Wild apples would be perfect. I don’t have a recipe on hand, but they are easy to find. My daughter does it regularly – I just stick so far to making apple jellies since they are the easiest, but one of these days I will get more adventurous. Sorry I can’t be more help than that for now.


  25. Look at your teapot! It’s beautiful! 🙂


  26. I love scented geraniums, but had never thought of cooking with them – seems obvious now! Thanks!


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