Monday, August 27, 2007

Crab apple picking

Saturday I decided to walk up to the crab apple tree to see if there was going to be a harvest there or not. In the past 7 years or so we have not had any crab apples due to drought, but I figured this year we would find a little something there. Although much of the tree had died, the limbs that were left were LOADED with crab apples. Two sons and one daughter-in-love and I drove the pick-up truck loaded with buckets and boxes and a large blanket to gather our harvest in. It was one of the best crab apple pickings we had ever had! In the next day or so, we'll boil the crab apples until they pop and extract the juices. We'll strain the juice and make a family favorite...... crab apple jelly....which is the lovliest blush-pink jelly you've ever seen.
These little jewels are rich in pectin, so all we need to do is add equal juice to sugar and boil until it gels. Crab apple juice can also be mixed in with other fruit juices that are low in pectin to make jellies and jams gel beautifully.

Aren't these the prettiest color?

We took another hour or so and finished picking the green apples off another tree. These apples we will turn into apple sauce and apple butter. We've got lots of work to do here. It's supposed to get cool and rainy for the next few days, so I'm fixin' to sweeten up the house with the smells of simmering apples.


  1. Jody!

    ~I love crabapples! I remember picking them as a child/teen off the trees. Yum! They are such a pretty red!
    The apples look scrumptious. My mouth is watering! Enjoy baking, I can just smell the apples cooking!

    What a fun day for you. Wish I was there to help you. I would definitely taste-testing!;)Great pictures!


  2. These are such beautiful photos Jody. Especially the one of the tree. My goodness! I've never seen so many crabapples before. It's a good thing you have someone to help you pick the bounty.
    Best wishes to you while you go about your "putting up".

  3. Oh wow! That's a good old haul of fruit you've got there...I'm jealous! I love the colour of those crab apples, the ones near me are a kind of ruddy green (like a pippin). I still hope to get my own haul this year...rigging the children out with climbing equipment as we speak.

  4. Debbie,
    We were eating some crab apples right off the tree too -- kinda tart, but still mouthwatering good.

    Mrs. Staggs, I'm glad I had helpers too! We're just now beginning to "tackle" the boxes and buckets.

    Isabella, These are *the* prettiest crab apples ever! So far, I've made a few jars of jelly and the color of the apples is reflected in the jelly beautifully. I hope you have good success in your apple picking too. Thank goodness for our kiddos!


  5. I'm sorry to say that I didn't know I could do anything with my crab apples....I will go look at my tree and see if I have any....I am getting excited! Dianntha

  6. WOW! So pretty!
    Have fun!
    Can't wait to see the finished product!
    You are so ambitious!

  7. You have a wonderful harvest there. how delightful the color of the crab apples. I bet that jelly is amazing! Maybe the drought brought something out in the tree or better said soil . perhaps the tap root hit some good nutrient as it searched deeper.

  8. Ohio Farm Girl,
    I wish you the best in canning your crab apple juice! It's so tangy and pretty too.

    Joanne, the finished product is complete! And yet, I have promised a friend that I will can more apple sauce with her yet!

    Donetta, these are just the best crab apples ever. They're always bright red, when we have them, but this year was abundant. I'm sure the rains helped.



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