Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I picked these crabapples yesterday morning! I drove about 20 mins to a friends house and picked them in the park across the street from her house. There were tons of beautiful, ripe crabapples there! These are the big kind, 1" - 1.5" across! I only need about 15 to 20 lbs to make crabapple wine, which is about two buckets full. I knew there would be a lot of waste, so I picked more than I needed.

After sorting and cleaning, I had about the right amount. Some were still a bit too green to use for wine, although they would be great for jelly. There is more pectin in the slightly green ones.

The secret to making good jelly and wine from the very tart, wild things is to use only the clear juice, without any pulp in it. Use a very fine strainer or straining bag and do not squeeze it.

It takes about 15-18 lbs of the small, very tart, wild things to make about 5 gallons of wine. This includes, but is not limited to, rhubarb, wild grape, crabapple and choke cherry (which I fully intend to make next year). It probably also includes wild strawberries and a few other things as well.

These things usually have a lot of acid or tannin which is what makes them so tart. So I don't usually add acid to the recipe, although I will for the crabapple, I think. Raw apples, as a general rule, are low in acid. I have a new acid tester now, so I can test the finished juice after boiling and straining and add just the right amount of acid blend to it.

I have enough left to make some crabapple jelly too! (It's TIME that I don't have!) Maybe I will just put those in the freezer for now and make jelly later. No pectin is needed for apple jelly. Apples have a lot of their own pectin. As a matter of fact, you can make pectin for general use from apples and crabapples, if you have enough.

Crabapple Jelly Recipe

8 cups fresh crabapples
water as needed
3 cups white sugar

1.Remove stems and blossom ends from crabapples, 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 crabapples 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. Do not squeeze. Use just the clear juice. You should have at least 4 cups of juice. Discard pulp, and pour the juice back into the rinsed pan. Bring to a simmer, and let cook for 10 minutes. Skim off any foam that comes to the top. Next, stir in the sugar until completely dissolved. Continue cooking at a low boil until the temperature reaches 220 to 222 degrees F (108 to 110 C). Remove from heat.
3.Pour the jelly into sterile jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process in a hot water bath to seal.

**NOTE: I will post the crabapple wine recipe when I make it.


The Japanese Redneck said...

Our tree was loaded down this year. I didn't pick them cause I'm not suppose to eat sugar....

Providence Acres Farm said...

Crabapple jelly does use a lot of sugar. I don't eat much of it either, but hubby does and it amkes good gifts. I used most of the ones I picked to make wine, no sugar.

MikeH said...

Discard pulp,

Put it through a food mill
with a very fine screen, add sugar or honey to taste, and you've got apple butter or fruit leather. What a wonderful taste and texture. Nothing left from the crabapples but seeds and a bit of very dry pulp.


Providence Acres Farm said...

That sounds great, Mike! I am going to try that with the wild apples! Thanks for the idea!

I have already composted the remnants of the crabapples, after freezing what I want to use.

dayphoto said...

Its been a long time since I made crabapple jelly thanks for the memories!