Oh I have been delinquent lately, not on purpose, but because I have been busy with the veggie garden, and putting food up. My family loves crab apple butter, and I make it every year. But this year a late frost hit the blooms and we didn’t have any crab-apples on our tree. Luckily a friend has a tree dripping in them, and she doesn’t use them, so let us pick as much as we wanted.
We started with a 5 gallon pail full of crabs, put them into pan, just barely covered with water. Cooked them down until all were soft and had burst. Then we ran it through the food mill, which separated the skins, stems and seeds from that beautiful red pulp.
Next we added sugar 1/2 cup for each cup of pulp, plus more to taste, plus some cinnamon, and cinnamon red hots, then cooked it down, and down and down, slowly on low heat. It took about 8 hours.
Once we had a nice thick yummy butter, we processed it into jars.
We ended up with 23 1/2 pints, plus 6 full pints of apple butter.
And while the crab-apples were cooking down, we picked enough beans to also make 7 pints of Dilly beans!
Getting my hands dirty sure pays off!
Here is my recipe:
6 cups (1.5 L) sieved crabapple pulp
Grated peel and juice of 1 orange Optional
Sugar (for every 1 cup of pulp, add approximately ½ cup of sugar or to taste)
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon, optional (sometimes I put in a cinnamon stick or 2 and remove them before processing)
50 to 60 cinnamon red hots
Pick crabapples, add water (about ½ the volume of the crabapples) simmer on medium until apples are soft.
Combine pulp with orange peel and juice in a Dutch oven.
Place over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to medium and boil gently, stirring frequently to prevent scorching, until mixture thickens to desired consistency.
Stir in sugar and spices, if desired, and return mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.
Ladle into hot sterilized half-pint (250 mL) jars, leaving Â¼ inch (6 mm) headspace.
Remove air bubbles with a narrow rubber spatula or plastic knife.
Add additional crabapple butter, if necessary, to maintain headspace.
Wipe jar rims thoroughly with a clean damp cloth.
Seal and process in a boiling water bath. Process for 15 minutes