What can be done with those Crab Apples?

March 17, 2010

Can the fruit from Purple Prince Crabtrees, an ornamental, be used in jelly or anything else? Thank you.

Dear Terri,

All my research shows that your Purple Prince Crab Apple tree is not only nice to look at but should produce perfectly edible fruit.  Beware; the fruit of the crabapple tends to be a bit tart.
Jelly recipes are readily available, ball canning company has a great website for preserving and canning all kinds of fruits and vegetables.  While searching online I came across this recipe on the Northscaping website (www.northscaping.com).  I think I may just have to deprive the birds of some of the crabapples in the back yard and try making a little apple juice.  If you decide to make some jelly or juice, let me know how it turns out.

Crab Apple Juice
You may have wondered to what use you could put those small hard crab apples (Malus spp.) that hang abundantly from the showy tree in your front yard. Jellies are one option, but did you know they make a fine apple juice? Because they are a little more tart than regular apples, they make a sprightly, zippier juice with lots of flavor and a little kick!

4 quarts crab apples
5 quarts water
2 cups sugar
2 tsp cream of tartar

Remove stems and cut crab apples into quarters – do not core or peel them. Bring the water to a boil, then dissolve the cream of tartar in the boiling water. Pour over the crab apple pieces and let sit overnight. In the morning, drain the liquid through several layers of
cheesecloth. Add sugar to taste; approx. 2 cups. Juice may either be frozen or processed in sealers in a hot water bath. To do this, bring the juice to a boil and pour into hot sterilized jars, seal and process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Cool upright and store in a dark, cool place.

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