Have you tried ...? Crab apples
BY NICOLE MARSHALL MIDDLETON World Scene Writer
Thursday, November 29, 2012
11/29/12 at 3:38 AM
Many of us remember playing around crab apple trees as children, but we never tried eating the tiny fruit because we were told they were inedible.
But you can, in fact, eat crab apples. They just taste better if sweetened and cooked.
Cutting into the small fruit was surprising. The inside looks similar to a regular apple - seeds and all. They are more tangy and lack the sweetness of the full-sized fruit, however.
Crab apples are most frequently used to make jelly, marmalade and butters, like the recipes used for regular apples. Boiled down, they contain a lot of pectin and do not require manufactured pectin to make jelly.
The jellies and marmalades can retain a beautiful red color, also. Crab apples are also used in breads and muffins in recipes similar to those for cranberries.
Here are two traditional recipes for crab apples.
CRAB APPLE JELLY
4 cups fresh crab apples
Water as needed
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 (3-inch) cinnamon stick (optional)
1. Remove stems from crab apples and cut into quarters. Place them in a large stainless steel or other non-reactive pot or saucepan. Add enough water to be able to see, but no so much that the crab apples are floating. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. The apples should soften and change color.
2. Strain the apples and juice through 2 or 3 layers of cheese cloth. You should have at least 4 cups of juice. Discard pulp and pour the juice back into the pan. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes. Skim off any foam that comes to the top. Then stir in the sugar until completely dissolved. Add cinnamon stick if desired. Continue cooking at a low boil until the temperature reaches 220 to 222 degrees. Remove from heat.
3. Pour the jelly into sterile small decorative jars leaving 1/4 inch of space at top. Process in a hot water bath to seal.
- adapted from AllRecipes.com, submitted by Mary Wynne
CRAB APPLE BREAD
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 tablespoons sour milk (or milk)
2 cups chopped, unpeeled apples
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1. In a bowl beat eggs, then beat in sugar. Stir in shortening, milk and apples. Mix well. Add dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly and fold in nuts.
2. Pour into a greased and floured bread pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or longer. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Bread freezes well.
- adapted from Cooks.com
Original Print Headline: Have you tried ... crab apples
Nicole Marshall Middleton 918-581-8459