Have you ever wondered if you can eat crab apples? Well, we’re here to give you an answer! YES! Crab apples are perfectly safe to eat and though smaller in size, they contain all the healthy nutrients found in domesticated apples. As with other apples, do not eat the core or seeds which contain a toxic compound that can turn into cyanide when eaten. Crab apples are sour because they contain more malic acid – the same taste as in unripe apples. Many people are surprised to hear that crab apples are edible straight from the tree. And there are eight major species of crab apples. So, don’t be afraid to try them! Crab apples typically appear on the tree in summer and ripen in fall, but the best time to pick them is winter. Freezing temperatures make the crab apples soft and sweet, so they taste better when it’s cold outside. Or, you could pick them when ripe in the fall and freeze them for a couple of days.
We’ve gathered a few delicious recipes for crab apples to give you ideas on ways they can be eaten. Savor the unique tart and slightly sweet flavor as a great addition to all sorts of dishes. There’s even wines, liqueurs and ciders that are made with crab apples! Below are some of the edibles made with this fruit. Of course, you have a variety of butters, jellies, sauces, syrups and juices. Experiment with spices, other fruit, honey and sweeteners to create just what you prefer. And then there are all the cakes, bars, crisps, bread, muffins, tarts and pies that make wonderful desserts and breakfast sides.
To make a variety of sweets, you may need to juice the crab apples first. Or they can be cut up for other recipes. Either way, wash the crab apples and remove the stem and blossom ends.
Crab Apple Juice
To prepare juice, combine crab apples with enough water to cover in a Dutch oven. Bring the mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until fruit is soft. Mash crab apples occasionally while cooking. Strain through a jelly bag. Bring the juice to a boil.
Crab Apple Crisp
To enjoy this tangy fruit, why not try these? Crab Apple Crisp is an easy one. Place sliced apples in a baking pan with some water, sugar and cinnamon. Cover the top completely with your favorite crust of oats, flour, brown sugar, honey, salt, and butter.
Crab Apple Jelly
Crab Apple Jelly starts with the boiled juice made from the raw fruit along with sugar. If there is a correct mixture of fruit, pectin, acid and sugar, the juice will form a gel when combined with the sugar. There is enough natural pectin in crab apples so that additional packaged pectin isn’t needed for all recipes.
Robinette’s grows a variety of fruit, including apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines, and apples, on our 125-acre property. We grow 35 varieties of apples. The apples are harvested as early as July and as late as the beginning of November. Some apple varieties are grown primarily for hard cider production. We invite you and your family to come enjoy our beautiful orchards!