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Crabapples...what do you do with them?

Posted by singcharlene Zone 5 CO (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 20, 10 at 17:26

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?



Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Crabapples...what do you do with them?

  • Posted by skybird z5, Denver, CO (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 20, 10 at 18:32

They make GREAT apple butter, Charlene! It takes a LOT of sugar, so its not exactly Health Food, but its 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 Ive ever seenthe 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 DONT WANT TO WAIT TO EAT IT! It smells SO good! I got to bring a jar full home with me! Didnt 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 dont know which recipe my niece used, but I think theyre all pretty similar, and heres one I found online that looks pretty goodand 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 tooand 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!

RE: Crabapples...what do you do with them?

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!

RE: Crabapples...what do you do with them?

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.


RE: Crabapples...what do you do with them?

Crabapples can be used to make crabapple jelly.

RE: Crabapples...what do you do with them?

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.

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