Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Spiced crab apples

It's crab apple season here and as I've already made several jars of jelly and with some fruit leftover, decided to look for a recipe to use them up (although the pigs would eat them, in fact we have been feeding them some).

Anyway, I found this one:

2 1/2 lbs of small crab apples with stems attached
1 1/2 Tbps whole cloves
2 sticks of cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbps whole allspice
3 cups vinegar *I used white but cider would probably be better*
6 cups sugar
3 cups water

Wash crab apples and remove blossom ends. Run a needle (I used a wooden skewer) through so that the skins stay intact (didn't work for me, but I think I needed to reduce the heat). Tie the spices in a piece of muslin. Combine vinegar, sugar and water in a large preserving pan. Bring to boil and boil for 5 mins. Add half the crab apples and simmer (slowly with lid on) for about 10 mins until the fruit is cooked. Remove fruit to a large bowl. Repeat with remainder of crab apples. Then tip hot syrup over the apples (now in the bowl). Cover and leave for about 12-18 hours (I left overnight in the fridge).
Pack crab apples into hot preserving jars, reheat syrup and pour over crab apples in jars, leaving 1/2 inch gap at top. Seal. Then process in hot water bath (first time I have ever done this believe it or not!).

Note: Apart from the fruit splitting, which I realise was caused by too vigorous boiling instead of a gentle simmer!, I was pleased with my first bottling efforts. From what I've read, the crab apples go nicely as an accompaniment to meat. Seems fairly common in the USA. I look forward to finding out if they're tasty.


maa said...

What a beautiful colour. When I was young, my father had a crab apple tree in the backyard. They just fell off the tree and were put in the compost. I think he grew it for the beautiful, delicate little blossoms that appeared each spring. I can still see it now.

Cabbage Tree Farm said...

That's a nice memory. He may have also grown them to help pollinate nearby fruit trees or so I've read.

We didn't have a tree at home, we used to go off and gather them from the wild, usually they grew in the woods with other trees (like beech).

soggybottomflats said...

This dreged up memories of my grandmothers pickled crabapples! Thanks to you I can almost taste them! I think she just mixed the spices in where they turned up in the jars after she canned them. I distinctly remember the skins on them as well. They were so delicious and I haven't thought of them for over 20 years...I think. Thank you again, Elaine in Texas

Cabbage Tree Farm said...

Hi Elaine in Texas
I'm pleased this brought back memories of your grandmother! Maybe you can lay your hands on some fruit to try them for yourself (again that is!).
Best wishes