Crabapple Harvest

This is the last fruit I have to harvest this year…Thank Goodness!

I have no ambition this year. I went out and filled a 5 gallon bucket with crabapples off the tree, there are about a million more littering the ground but I only had the umph to do a little.

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I washed and sorted the crabapples to remove leaves and other debris, then started removing stems and the rosettes from the bottom.

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I put 4 quarts of chopped crabapples into a large jar added 3 cups of sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon, then poured a bottle of Whipped Cream Vodka over the top. This will make Crabapple Liqueur that will taste like apple pie ala mode. I reduced the sugar this year from 4 cups to 3 because it is normally really sweet. I hope it will tone it down a little. This will have to sit for 16 days, then be strained and bottled.

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I cooked down the rest of the crabapples. In batches of 6 cups of water to 6 cups of fruit.  Brought to a boil then simmered for ages until the fruit was soft.

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After cooking the crabapples, I strained off the juice.  You can puree and strain out more juice, but my apples were really dry this time so I didn’t bother.

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After extracting the juice. I made two batches of jelly. One regular and one low sugar version (Made with Truvia Baking Blend) Follow the directions in the Sure Jell box

Cinnamon Crabapple Jelly                                           Low Sugar Version

7 cups juice                                                                      6 cups juice

9 cups sugar                                                                     2 cups Truvia Baking Blend

1 tbsp butter (to reduce foaming)                               1 tbsp butter (to reduce foaming)

1 tbsp cinnamon                                                             1/2 tbsp cinnamon

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Sometimes things go right and the jelly sets just fine.

 It separates slowly from the side of the jar.

 

 If it doesn’t set, it will still be liquid and will slosh around in the jar.

 

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You have two choices at this point.

One: reboil it with some more pectin and hope it sets.

OR

Two: Say YAY! I made syrup!

I had one batch that set and one that didn’t. So I stuck with the syrup idea because Cinnamon Crabapple syrup on pancakes just sounded too good!

I invented Screwdriver Bread

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I seem to have a propensity for finding baking recipes that contain alcohol. Bourbon cake. Irish Cream Brownies. You get the picture.
This time I made bread with crabapple purée that had been soaked in whipped cream vodka. Why you ask? We have a crabapple tree in our back yard. After a lot of experimentation we have decided the best use of that fruit crop is to make our own liqueur.
4 quarts of quartered and pitted crabapples
4 cups of sugar
3 cups vodka
That is the normal recipe. I, however, changed it up a little and added 2 cinnamon sticks and a sprinkling of clove and nutmeg. Not a lot. Just a little- enough to spice it like an apple pie. Then soak the crabapples in whipped cream vodka for 16 days. After the 16 days drain and bottle the liqueur. Let it set for 6 months to get the best flavor. It’ll taste like apple pie a la mode. After bottling the liquid, I purée the quartered crabapples and freeze them.

But I digress. Screwdriver bread.
So I have a recipe for pumpkin bread that I often play with. Substituting various fruit purée for the pumpkin purée. This time I used the crabapples.
So this is what I ended up doing…
I substituted crabapple for pumpkin. Orange juice for water and threw in some extra cinnamon and nutmeg.
I’m still working on the recipe when I get it right and it doesn’t fall in the middle I’ll share it. But the point is it tastes like a screwdriver. Yay me!