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How To Use Crabapples: 15 Delicious Recipes You’ve Probably Never Tried

How To Use Crabapples: 15 Delicious Recipes You've Probably Never Tried

Many people are surprised to hear that crabapples are edible straight from the tree. While you might find them too tart to pluck from the tree and pop straight in your mouth, you can use crabapples in many delicious recipes from jellies, to juices to wine and more.

This article reveals fifteen brilliant things you can do with your abundant supply of crabapples this fall.

Make sure you read our previous article revealing how you can have the most beautiful and abundant crabapple tree, as well as when to harvest your crabapples to ensure they are ripe: The Total Guide To Growing & Caring For Your Crabapple Tree

15 Delicious Crabapple Recipes

1. Homemade Crabapple Pectin

Homemade Crabapple Pectin

Pectin is a starch that occurs in the walls of fruits and vegetables, giving them their firmness and structure.

Easily squishable berries contain very little pectin, while much harder to squash apples are rich in it. Combined with acid, sugar, and heat, pectin becomes gel-like, and is used to give texture and firmness to jams and jellies.

Crabapples are an excellent all natural source of pectin, and using it for your recipes won’t alter the finished flavor.

Get the recipe here.

2. Crabapple Jelly

Homemade Crabapple Jelly

You won’t need any additional pectin for this toast topper recipe – just three pounds of crabapples, sugar, and water.

Get the recipe here.

3. Crabapple Juice

For apple juice of a different variety, this recipe is a great way to use up your crabapples – and it’s delicious too! You’ll need about a gallon tub of crabs, a little cream of tartar, and sugar to taste, to make this simple and easy juice.

Get the recipe here.

4. Crabapple Liqueur

To make a headier mixture, fill a jar with chopped crabapples and add sugar and 1 ½ cups of vodka. Store out of sunlight on its side and rotate the jar every day for two weeks. Strain and enjoy.

Get the recipe here.

5. Crabapple Wine

For homemade fruit wine aficionados, this recipe is a blend of crabapples, raisins, and lemon juice – ready to be bottled and enjoyed in about two months.

Get the recipe here.

6. Crabapple Sauce

Served over pork or turkey, this two ingredient sauce calls for six pounds of crabapples and sweetener. Simply boil the crabs, drain, and mash.

Get the recipe here.

7. Crabapple Butter

Take your crabapple sauce to the next level by adding cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Served warm, crabapple butter is great on toast, sandwiches, ice cream, and yogurt.

Get the recipe here.

8. Crabapple Fruit Leather

Crabapple fruit leather is made by processing the crabs into puree and spreading them on sheets to be dried in a dehydrator or oven. You can use crabapples alone or make different flavor blends by adding in strawberries, pears, or other complimentary fruits.

Get the recipe here.

9. Spicy Pickled Crabapples

Spicy Pickled Crabapples

A super easy way to preserve the harvest, these crabapples are pickled in cider vinegar and spiced with cloves and cardamom. Eat them as a snack on their own or served alongside a hearty winter meal.

Get the recipe here.

10. Crabapple Syrup

Crabapple syrup is a sweet treat that can be drizzled over pancakes, waffles, ice cream, and other desserts.

Get the recipe here.

11. Crabapple Muffins

Chopped crabapples are folded into the muffin batter in this old timey recipe to add a bit of tartness and zing to each bite.

Get the recipe here.

12. Crabapple Bread

Similarly, chopped crabapples can be added to make a zesty loaf of bread!

Get the recipe here.

13. Crabapple Cider Vinegar

Following the same essential steps as homemade apple cider vinegar, you can also brew this fermented tonic from your ample crabapple harvest.

Get the recipe here.

14. Crabapple Hot Pepper Jelly

Striking a delicious balance between tartness, sweetness, and heat, use this pepper jelly with crackers and cheese, as a dip for egg rolls, for glazing meat, and so much more.

Get the recipe here.

15. Crabapple Pie Filling

This crabapple pie filling can be used right away with your favorite pastry recipe, or canned or frozen for your future pie making needs.

Get the recipe here.

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Lindsay Sheehan

I am a writer, lifelong plant lover, permaculture gardener, and unabashed nature nerd. I’m endlessly fascinated by the natural world and its curious inner workings – from the invisible microbes in soil that help our plants grow, to the hidden (and often misunderstood) life of insects, to the astonishing interconnectedness that lies at the heart of our forests. And everything in between.

My gardening philosophy is simple – work with the forces of nature to foster balanced ecosystems in the landscape. By taking advantage of 470 million years of evolutionary wisdom, suddenly the garden is more resilient and self-sustaining. By restoring biodiversity, we get built-in nutrient cycling, pest control, climate regulation, and widespread pollination. By building healthy soil and supporting the food web, we can have lush gardens and do a small part in healing our local biomes, too.

On my own humble patch of earth in zone 5b, I’m slowly reclaiming the land and planting it densely with native wildflowers, grasses, shrubs, and trees. I also tend a food forest, herb garden, and an ever-expanding plot of fruits and vegetables, where I abide by the old adage, ‘One for the mouse, one for the crow, one to rot, and one to grow’.