Crabapples...what do you do with them?

singcharlene(Zone 5)August 20, 2010

My crabapple tree is covered in bright red little sour apples. Most people (that are not gardeners) tell me they are worthless and to be used for kids and teenagers for a crabapple fight. My little ones like to just pick and eat (or more like suck) on them.

Do you have recipes or ideas?



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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

They make GREAT apple butter, Charlene! It takes a LOT of sugar, so itÂs not exactly Health Food, but itÂs yummy!

When I was in Illinois with family one year, my niece picked a whole bushel of crab apples from a tree on a vacant lot down the block, and they were the biggest crab apples IÂve ever seenÂthe size of a small apple! Anyway, she washed them and threw them all in a BIG pot and boiled them till mushy, then she cranked them thru a machine she has that extracted all the skin, seeds, stems, and everything except the pulp. Then she added the other ingredients and simmered and simmered and simmered! One of those situations where you DONÂT WANT TO WAIT TO EAT IT! It smells SO good! I got to bring a jar full home with me! DidnÂt last long!

Without the little hand crank machine to quickly extract the pulp, I think it would be a pretty tedious job to hand strain/sieve it, but however you get there, the end result is WAY worth it!

I donÂt know which recipe my niece used, but I think theyÂre all pretty similar, and hereÂs one I found online that looks pretty goodÂand Mennonites ARE good cooks! [And since I was skeptical if this site REALLY had anything to do with Mennonites, I looked around to see what I could see, and IT DOES! The other recipes look really good tooÂand if anybody around here needs gluten free, they have some GREAT GF recipes!]


Here is a link that might be useful: Crab Apple Butter by Mennonite Girls Can Cook!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 6:32PM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

My grandmother used to make spiced crabapples, and I loved them! I don't have her recipe, but found one on I remember my grandmother's being sliced, but this recipe leaves them whole. Maybe try them both ways!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 6:41PM
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Dan Staley

Yes, the only thing about crabs if yours are super tart is the amount of sugar needed for preserves. One of my boyhood friends had several fruit trees in his yard and one was a crab, and his mom used to mix plums (frozen??) and crabs in a quart to help tone down the crabs, and yummy in winter heated on bread after sledding or a snowball fight.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 8:00PM
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xaroline(zone 3 Calgary)

Crabapples can be used to make crabapple jelly.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 12:36PM
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I also recommend crabapple jelly. The extracted juice can be mixed with other fruit juices to widen your jelly repertoire. Crabapples have a lot of pectin, and thus will really help low-pectin fruit jellies to set well.

Follow the directions on the back of the pectin box for extracting the juice, or look online or in a comprehensive basic cookbook. With the small crabapples, it's easy to smash them a bit or slice each in half before/during cooking to get the juice out. You don't have to spend time peeling or coring or running them through a food mill or anything.

I too have a lot of crabapples this year, from a relative's tree. The red crabapples often make lovely pink jelly even if the flavor isn't as full as you'd get from plums or cherries.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 6:26PM
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