Crap! Crab Apple Disappointment

My lovely crab apples, the ones I so lovingly picked out to can whole in a spicy-sweet pickle, burst their skins.



I followed the recipe just so–washing them and individually pricking each with a needle.  But PFB calls for pricking them with a darning needle, and shucks (hey, I could’ve said darn), I don’t have one.  I used a sewing needle, which apparently was not wide enough.

Which reminds me of a fairly amusing story related to me by a friend who shall remain nameless:

She was invited, after a few years here at the U., to a meeting of the Faculty Women’s Club.  Advised to bring her knitting, she explained that she does not, in fact, knit.  Or sew. Or quilt.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

“That’s OK honey,” said her matronly sister-in-arms, “You can always bring your darning.”

Anyhow, back to the crab apples.  They were so lovely, so perfect.  And then they exploded.  But I’m canning them anyway, because regardless of their squashy, less-than-perfect looks, they taste DIVINE!

Other deviations from the Putting Food By recipe: a whole nutmeg I sawed in half with a kitchen knife instead of the blade mace they call for, and about a third apple cider vinegar and the rest distilled white, instead of the all-cider vinegar called for in the recipe.

Fill Jars, Wipe Rims, Affix Lids

Fill Jars, Wipe Rims, Affix Lids

Four-Point Weck Jar Lifter--the Best!

Four-Point Weck Jar Lifter--the Best!

Into the Steaming Canner

Into the Steaming Canner

And here they come, in all their squashy glory, out of the canner now:

Spicy Pickled Sort-of Whole Crab Apples

Spicy Pickled Sort-of Whole Crab Apples

Well, they’re still pretty, and all the jars sealed, too.  This afternoon (I think): crab apple jelly with the rest of the not-so-perfect fruits.  If it’s as pink as this pretty project, I’ll be ecstatic.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Matt on August 27, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    you know, when i lived around those parts i sampled a crab apple or too many, and always ended up spitting ’em out. I always figured they were more for aesthetics than eating. I’m amazed that you have ones edible enough to go through the whole process of canning. And you even describe their flavor as DIVINE. of course, if you can do to crab apples what you do to peaches, which are already scrumptious to begin with, then i’m sure they’re delicious. 🙂

  2. Posted by flyingtomato on August 28, 2008 at 8:01 am

    That’s it! You’re getting a jar for the holidays.

    I think a lot of varieties of crab apples are more for looks (esp. their flowers, but also fruit) than for taste. These are an older variety, I think, and larger than a lot of the tiny pretty fruits I’ve seen about town.

    Do you remember the alleyway of flowering crabs leading up to the old Coyote Student Center? I was so disappointed when they ripped those out, even with their seasonal messiness. Now the new behemoth of a student center-in-progress takes up all that space.

  3. Greetings!

    The crab apples on our farm are so lovely, large and sweet this year. I really want to make whole candied apples! Since I know I put my family’s health (and maybe life) at risk by making up my own canning recipe I searched around for other crab apple canners.

    Was hoping for something other than Crap! Disappointment 🙂

    Anyone have an Extension approved recipe for WHOLE CANDIED CRAB APPLES?

    If so, you get good Karma points for leaving the recipe on my blog — found by Googling Resettling Big Stone County.



  4. Posted by flyingtomato on September 1, 2008 at 8:15 pm


    This recipe actually turned out quite wonderfully, save for the split skins. The reason for the split was simply that I poked them with a sewing needle instead of a darning needle. A friend used a fork, and that worked well for her.

    Good luck!


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