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Aug 15, 2012 10:51 AM

Something to do with crabapples

I have just stumbled onto a bottomless supply of beautiful red crabapples. Have already made jelly and I'd like to do something else with them. But what? Just for the record, no one in our house likes the kind of spices that usually go into crabapples: cloves, allspice, etc. Much prefer savoury and hot spices. Ginger is fine. Any suggestions? I'm up for an experiment.

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  1. Have you made juice? It takes quite a lot of apples but is delicious. I make roasted applesauce with my apples and thyme or rosemary. Apple chutneys are very good. Oh, yes. How about apple chips? They become crisp and are great as a snack or lovely with desserts (if they are large enough, of course).

    4 Replies
    1. re: chefathome

      These crabapples are about an inch in diameter so aren't really a candidate for dehydration. I can't imagine de-coring all the little critters. I could do crabapple sauce, I guess, but not sure it would be any better than regular apple sauce.

      1. re: Nyleve

        Oh, those are tiny! Mine are far larger but they are a different variety.

        Applesauce with crabapples is great but it would be a lot of work with such little suckers.

        1. re: chefathome

          Yeah - I was thinking maybe whole canned cranberries in a spicy (read: hot, savoury) syrup. But then would I ever eat them or would they just stay on the shelf forever? What would you serve such a thing with? I'm just not a big fan of sweet things with meat - the legacy of my Hungarian mother, I suppose. I still don't like applesauce with pork.

          Well maybe I'll just make this one last batch of jelly and then juice the rest.

        2. re: Nyleve

          I made some delicious crabapple sauce a few weeks ago. Much tarter than regular apple sauce. Tasted a bit like I'd tossed in some cranberries and would be great with a bit of orange juice and ginger. If your crab apples are particularly sour (like mine were), they would probably work well as a curd. If you're up for trying different kinds of jelly, I made a crabapple-lavender one that turned out really nice (used some as a glaze on a lavender pound cake last night and it was amazing). Or, for something more spicy, how about crabapple-habanero jelly (or crabapple-jalapeno etc.) Someone suggested homemade crabapple hard cider to me, which I still want to make, but need to get the equipment. I agree that the problem is the cores. It would take forever to de-core them for use in a pie or a crisp or to use them whole. It seems like cooking or blending, then straining is the best option. I did read somewhere that you can juice them without a juicer by giving them a whiz in the food processor and then straining the liquid through cheesecloth. You could mix the juice with some savory spices and a bit of sugar (or maple syrup, or honey) and use it to braise pork. Or cook it down into a syrup and use it in homemade sodas and cocktails. Or use the juice as the acid component in a salad dressing.

      2. I have those too but I've only ever made jelly... I hope good ideas will come up!!

        1. I found this recipe for apple butter, I think ill try this when our crabapples are ready (I'm in Canada so they arent ready yet...)

          1. Spiced (i.e. pickled) Crabapples:

            There are two recipes on this site. As long as you don't alter the amount of vinegar or add any other major low-acid ingredients, you can tinker with the spices, or omit them entirely. You could add a few raspberries, orange peel, vanilla bean----based on what your family enjoys. I give these away sometimes at Christmas.

            1. These ideas sound good! Crabapples slow roasted, pickled or in chutney.