Crab apple is a valuable fruit really abundant in early autumn months that will offer a generous bounty. Maybe, you have one of them in your garden and don’t know what to do with the entire surplus. Fortunately, apples are great for preserving in different ways and will supply your home all year long.
Store whole crab apples
They store well just as they are in a cellar or a another cold dry room by spreading them out in plastic or wooden boxes, similar to the ones you find in your local market, arranged in one layer and avoiding they touch each other. For centuries, people have been storing apples this way, providing a valuable winter stock.
Preserve dried crab apples
They can be dried in a dehydrator or oven at the lowest temperature. Peel, core and soak the apples and cut them into thin slices to use as crisps, leaving it to dry for three hours. You can also make small chunks or a paste to dry for up to three days in order to reconstitute in water when needed. Then, store in covered sealed jars in a cool dry place.
Making jelly is the most popular resort to preserve crab apples surpluses. Use whole fruits to simmer, as the most of the pectin that will set the jelly will be in the skin, core and pips. When soft, strain through a jelly bag and store in a sealed jar to spread on toast or cook in pies.
As they are cooked whole, it is good to combine with other berries difficult to deal with, as rosehips, hawthorns or rowan. It is also nice to combine with other seasonal autumn fruits, like damson or aromatic herbs like mint.
A fruit cheese or butter would contain fruit pulp, while a jelly uses only the clear juice strained through the jelly bag. Butter is spreadable, but the cheese is cut with knife. Both of them suit fantastically hard cheese.
Crab apple chutney is a very pleasant accompaniment to pork meat that adds a tangy note to the flavour and makes it juicy. Use a very small amount of vinegar and sugar as preservative and just add onions, clove, cinnamon, ginger, pepper and chilli.
Juice your own crab apple cider
One of the most popular methods to preserve and process apples is making cider and wine. The taste may vary between varieties and they have less juice and a firmer flesh, but they are easier to shred as they are smaller than cultivated apples.