A Crabapple a Day...

Crabapple trees produce beautiful flowers and provide all kinds of critters with nourishment. But few people have found the fruit appetizing... until now. Check out the following recipes, turning this most bitter of fruits beyond palatable.

Mary Wynne's Crabapple Jelly
from allrecipes.com

  • 8 cups fresh crabapples
  • water as needed
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1 (3 inch) cinnamon stick (optional)


  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. 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. 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 small decorative jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process in a hot water bath to seal. 

Spicy Pickled Crabapples
from AllRecipes.com
  • 6 quarts fresh crabapples, washed and stems removed
  • 1 cup whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 pounds brown sugar
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons whole allspice berries
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest


  1. Stick 2 or 3 cloves into each of the crabapples, and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, stir together the water, sugar, and vinegar. Place allspice berries, cinnamon sticks, and lemon zest in cheesecloth, and tie cheesecloth to make a small bag; add to pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the crabapples,and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Use a slotted spoon to lift out crabapples and place them into sterile jars. Cover with hot syrup, and seal in a hot water bath for 10 minutes, or until the centers of the lids are depressed. If the syrup seems too thick, add more water. Refrigerate after opening.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 315 | Total Fat: 0.6g | Cholesterol: 0mg

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.