Crabapple is not a fruit I have had much experience with in the past, but my BIG crabapple tree at my new house in Dunedin has forced me to have a closer look at possibilities regarding these beautiful little fruits. I have spoken with the experts, borrowed cook books from my neighbors, googled, took advice from bloggers and, after a lot of reading picked about 10 Kg of crabapples (still have about 30 Kg left on the tree). I have decided to start with crabapple jelly. Most references suggested throwing the pulp away after extracting the juice, but my “use all and throw nothing away” culture has compelled me to do something with it. So here is what I did
10 kg crabapples
10 liters Water
Boil for about 20 minutes
Separate the pulp and juice by filtering through cheesecloth and put the pulp aside
Heat the juice to boiling point and add 1 Kg Sugar for every kg of liquid. Simmer the mixture until it reaches setting point. Quickly, while still hot and before it gelatinises, filter again through cheesecloth and bottle. Seal bottles and sterilise in a boiling bath for 20 minutes. The clear, pink jelly sets beautifully and is delicious. I also made a batch where I added chili and rosemary to the original fruit – a very interesting and tasty jelly resulted and I would probably make some more.
I have taken the pulp and put it through my Italian tomato pasata machine, which separates the skin and pips from the fine pulp. Heat the pulp to boiling point and add 1 kg of Sugar for every kg of pulp. Simmer the mixture until it reaches setting point. Seal bottles and sterilise in a boiling bath for 20 minutes. Beautiful and absolutely delicious jam.
The skins and pips I am using to make alpple cider vinegar. I think it will be good, as I normally use the cores and skins of ordinary apples to make this. I make large quantities of vinegar every year, of which I use most as is, but convert some to a mosto cotto
ROASTED CRABAPPLES AND HONEY
I have dribbled some fresh crabapples with honey and roasted them in the oven until soft, then served with home made custard – I never thought crabapples could taste so good, even though it was on the sour side where the rest of the household was concerned.
This week I am going to try making crabapple chutney and a cider. After all that I should still have another 10 kg of fruit left on the tree.
I find it strange that the big kereru pigeons do not eat the fruit since they stripped the cherry trees and had a good go at the plum tree.