Does anyone still eat crabapples?
I have a Brandywine tree in my yard that has, for the first time ever, started producing crabapples. Now what to do with them? I remember my grandmother always serving them with Sunday dinner - I think they were jellied? I can't remember how they tasted, but they sure were pretty! And there's a barbecue restaurant in Oneonta NY that puts a slice on each plate as a garnish.
How would you use these adorable little guys?
I'm so glad to have stumbled upon this thread.
A late frost last spring virtually eliminated our fruit tree crop for the year. This year, the trees all seem to be making up for lost time. On a recent hike, I found a crab apple tree heavily laden with fruit. I've been thinking about those crab apples ever since, and wondering when did they fall out of culinary fashion? Do crab apples go to waste every where?
I will definitely be going back to pick those crab apples this weekend. I will be making crab apple jelly, crab apple liquor (as described by kall_MM, thank you!), and possibly some wine poached crab apples.
I love eating them fresh, they have such a great tart flavour. I will make the usual crabapple sauce from them, but my mother also peels, cores and slices them, then dries them out in the oven to make dried crabapple. They make a great addition to trail mix, and they are also great in scones with hazelnuts. Because they are so tart, they make a great change from many dried fruit that are too sweet.
I forgot about crabapples. Wow, what a blast from the past. My grandmother also had a tree. I can remember rummaging through the apples looking for worms - ha. We used to toss them in the air and hit 'em w/ a baseball bat.
Occasionally we would eat them fresh but I never remember her cooking w/ them.
(aka crabapple infused vodka)
Take a 4 quart jar, pack it with rinsed crabapples (no need to core them), dump in a cup of sugar halfway through, another cup on top, then fill half full with vodka (I imagine white rum would work as well, though am not sure about gin - yuck!).
Turn over every day, and let sit for a month. After a month, strain, pressing the last bit of vodka-y goodness out of the crabapples. Bottle. Throw out the crabapples (you could eat them, but I think that would result in a nasty hangover).
My mom and her friends used to drink it in tea (hence 'teafix'), but I enjoy it over ice or mixed with club soda.
This lasts for ages, and seems to get better over time. You can also do this with a variety of other fruits (if you can get hold of them, saskatoon teafix is divine); just adjust your sugar content along with the sweetnes off the fruit.
this does sound good, but just wondering about the method. I have done this with other fruits but they are usually fully covered in alcohol, if I read right yours are 1/2 covered? My question is this, does the fruit on top ever go bad on you, or does turning it over every day solve this? thanks
Seriously, I can't imagine eating a fresh crabapple. I’ve read there are a few that aren’t tart, but I haven’t found them yet … lady apples are a different thing and are edible fresh.
Just a nice general article about a few crabapple varieties
The one thing I remember about the crabapple tree in our backyard when I was growing up is that they are prolific ... very, very, very prolific.
My mom made jelly and canned spiced crabapples before finally giving up when the tree started producing more than could be used by a small country.
When I see them, I'll pick them up strictly as garnish. They are pretty with parsley arranged around the Thanksgiving turkey.
Given how abundant the crabapples can be, here's some interesting ideas...
Crab-apple tarte tatin ... with a stunning photo,,, so, so pretty
Cinnamon Custard French Toast topped with Crabapple Puree
Milosoupa: Chilled Crabapple Soup with Curry
Cranberry Crab Apple Chutney
Crab Apple Pickles with Star Anise, Cassia and Ginger
BAKED CRAB-APPLE PRESERVES
Mahi Mahi and steamed whole crabapples smothered in cherry brandy butter
Maple syrup and Meaux Mustard Beef Fillet with Braised Fennel and Crab Apple ... just shoot me if I ever decide to try this ... waaay too complicated ... and it only uses 4 crab apples.
Crabapple Juice Drink
Crab-apple and crab-pear gin
There are many variations of crabapple jelly out there on the web ... crabapple hot pepper jelly, Blackberry Crab-Apple Jelly, Crab Apple and Geranium Jelly (my grandmother made this), Crabapple Rosemary Jelly
This seemed interesting
Crabapple and Pomegranate Jelly with Rosebuds
You can use the jelly as a meat glaze
Hmmm ... now I am craving crabapples.
Ok, this is the horror recipe I came across … suggested as perfect with chili … Here’s the ingredients … who knows … it might be so bad it is good … but I’ll let someone else give it a try.
1 small jar of spiced crabapple rings
1 20 oz. can of pineapple chunks.
1 29 oz. can of peach halves (heavy syrup preferred
)1 29 oz. can of pear halves (heavy syrup preferred)
1 6 oz. jar of red maraschino cherries
1 6 oz. jar of green maraschino cherries
crisp cold lettuce
jalapeno pepper-jack cheese
"Crabapple and Pomegranate Jelly with Rosebuds"
I had NO idea crabapples were so versatile! Thank you so very much for these really interesting recipes. I love the idea of making jiuce out of them as well.
But I think I'll skip the chili dish altogether. LOL!
Thanks for the many ideas you put in my head...
Rworange-- if you are looking to try a fantastic fresh crabapple-- the chestnut crabapple, mentioned at the end of the mankato article you link to at the beginning of your post-- is spectacular. they are ugly little things, even sometimes rough-skinned, but they are sweet and spicy and spectacular, one of my faves. i don't know how widely they are available, but i always snap them up by the basket when they appear in my local farmer's markets (msp). they are really fun to eat-- sometimes i'll have 8 or so of the little miniature apple cores, picked down to the seeds and stems, in a bowl on the table in front of me before i know it! it's funny! if anyone sees these wee apples, i'd encourage you to try them.