Our crabapple tree is just loaded with fruit this year. This is an old-fashioned crabapple that has fruits about the size of a ping-pong ball, not one of the ornamental trees that have fruits the size of a dime. This year they seem to taste extra good, so I'm going to try to make significant use of the bounty.
I'm not a big fan of pickled crabapples. Well, I like 'em, but we've proved by experience that I just don't eat them up fast enough to bother. But I decided to try some juice. If I worked at it a little harder, I really could make a lot of the juice I drink for breakfast. As you've heard about before, I often make juice a really easy way, right in the jars. I want to try that too, but decided I better do some the traditional way, because I know that will work.
So that started with washing them, removing the blossom ends and stems, cutting in quarters and boiling them. You don't have to peel or remove the cores. Once they are boiled and mashed up then you let it strain in a jelly bag to get the juice out.
I forgot to take a picture of that, but except for the color it looks just like when I strained the mulberry juice
One of the good parts of this is that you at least get two products for all that work. You get juice, and if you put the pulp through a food mill you get crabapple sauce.
So here's what I got for my work. This started with a half-basket of fruit (making NO dent at all in the potential), and when cut up was about 1.5 gallons of cut-up fruit.
I ended up with two quarts of concentrated juice. It can be diluted for drinking, or used to make jelly or syrup. I wasn't going to do any of that, but Om is making noises about jelly. I told him he's got to help with another batch for that to happen. It's a lot of work to cut up all those hard little fruits. And I also got about two cups of really yummy pink applesauce. I added just a little bit of sweetener. The dish on the left is for my evening snack, the rest is for another day.
The flavor of the crabapples this year is exceptional- it's as good as cranberry. I really would like to make a lot of juice, but, WOW, it's a chunk of time. I wonder if I could just trim the blossom end and not worry about the stems, since the food mill would catch them.
If I can the juice for drinking (those jars aren't sealed), I like that it's concentrated. It will take less storage room that way.
|See Remember the Juice?|