The trees are laden with tart Crab Apples this year. Truly wild Crab Apples always have a more intense flavour than any other apple. They can be too tart for some to eat raw but the appleness really intensifies when cooked. They will certainly leave you wanting more.
They are perfect for small hands to pick as there are no brambles or nasties to get in the way.
Look along the hedgerow for small apples that are green, red or orange and yellow in colour. Some of the smaller crab apples can be mistaken for rosehip or similar. To make sure it is an apple just cut one in half and you will soon see!
Crab Apples have an exceptionally high pectin and acid content which makes them ideal for setting fruit jams and jellies. However my favourite is Duncan's Crab Apple Chilli Chutney - perfect with all sorts of cheeses or Pork. It is a great way to pimp up a grilled cheese toastie on a cold autumn day. As with any preserving patience pays off. Leave it until the end of October and it will have matured to a lovely deep flavour. The more you preserve the easier it is to be able to wait as you have an abundance in your kitchen. If you want more delicious recipes like this why not buy our best selling book - Foraging Fairytales: Hedgerow Festival. Packed full of mouthwateringly good recipes or follow us over on Tiktok for more inspiration.
Keep 12 of your Crab Apples whole in the Freezer - ready to make Halloween Crab Apples in October. I always find an Apple too big but these are perfect in size and give you that sweet and sour taste sensation.
We also suggest making Crab Apple Syrup as this allows you to replace citrus in cocktails. Making your cocktails full of seasonal goodness and you don't need to pay for lemons and limes. Can you imagine all the cocktails you could make from that! This works best choosing Crab Apples that aren't quite ripe.
Want to see how we have done it? Follow us over on TikTok.
Have you enjoyed gathering crab apples to preserve and enjoy?
Excited to experiment with more wonderful wild foods?
Join our community in the Kitchen Table Revolution.
Each week, we come together to preserve one seasonal or wild ingredient. Week by week, we build our larders and expand our understanding of food. All the while, motivating and inspiring each other to liven up the kitchen table.
That is what we love about the Kitchen Table Revolution - it makes you preserve one thing a week. Cathy Rogers says "it has changed our life" and Caroline "says you have got me hooked on foraging and I love it" Send us a message if you would like to find out more about our almost secret membership The Kitchen Table Revoultion.
We'd love you to join the family. Click here to discover more!
Added some cranberries as planning to give some jars for Christmas. Used two chillis and that is spicy enough for us! I had to add extra vinegar and still could only let it simmer on the lowest possible heat for about 30 mins as it seemed to be drying up so much.
Cranberries sound like a great touch! The jars will have plenty of time to mature before Christmas so will be absolutely delicious as gifts
Delighted you enjoyed it! Thanks for letting us know that is why drying up for you. Let me speak to our head chef Duncan to find out what he says! I would love to see a photo if you have one! Thanks.
I love the fact that you have adapted the recipe for Christmas. Where they dried cranberries that you added? If so, they would have soaked up a lot of the moisture.
Lovely recipe, but should the 2 tablespoons (tbsp) of turmeric be 2 teaspoons (tsp)? A little dried turmeric goes a long way! I wondered if it was a misprint.
I added a few cloves which worked well with the other spices, and I look forward to experimenting with it in future.
Thanks for bringing this to our attention! Tumeric definitely is a powerful spice.
We're glad you've enjoyed experimenting with this recipe. A good base recipe like this is a great place to start when getting creative in the kitchen!