At least 15 years ago I planted a crab apple tree along with a few other fruit trees. Of all those trees the crab apple tree has produced the most fruit but until this day I’d never eaten any crab apples in my life or even heard of anyone preparing a dish using them.
Just like every other this year the tree is loaded with wonderful red crab apples each about the size of a cherry but certainly no where near as appetizing…so I thought.
WELL out of the blue I had an epiphany…why let all that great looking fruit go to waste? Those crab apples have got to be good for something! So I did a bit of research, picked some crab apples and decided to make something edible – Crab Apple Butter. My tree is so full of fruit that I didn’t have to spend very long picking to fill my bowl.
SPICED CRAB APPLE BUTTER
1 Bowl of Crab Apples
Enough Water to Cover Apples
1 tsp Whole Cloves
Dash of Nutmeg
1.5″ stick of Cinnamon or 1 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Cup Brown Sugar or 3/4 Cup Sugar in the Raw
- Remove stems, if present, and wash fresh crab apples.
- Cut the crab apples in half an place in sauce pan. Once all crab apples are in the pan fill with enough water to cover all the crab apples. Add spices but not the sugar. Bring pan to boil then reduce heat to simmer until all apples are soft and crushable. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Once the mixture has cooled crust the apples with a spoon or potato masher. If available, you can use an immersion blender or a food mill to crush the apples. Do not use a regular blender as you want leave the cloves and seeds whole for removal in the next step.
- Next transfer the crab apple mixture to a strainer or sieve over a clean sauce pan in small batches and press through to remove the seeds, hulls and cloves. After pressing each batch using a spoon or spatula scrape the the outside of the strainer or sieve. Also empty the strainer after pressing each batch. The apples will now be the consistency of apple sauce.
- Once all apples have been strained stir in the sugar and return the pan to heat. Bring to boil and continue boiling and stir frequently. Cook until the crab apple butter is very thick. It is ready when you draw a spoon through the mixture it leaves a path behind it.
- Once your Crab Apple Butter cools, depending on how much you’ve made, you can transfer it to one or more jars for consumption or into canning jars to preserve for later use. If canning use proper canning procedure and you should be able to store the butter for use for at least a year.
Enjoy…mine turned out great. My crab apples shall go to waste no more!
Interested in making some yourself? I’ve got plenty crab apples left!