Spiced Crab Apples

This is great for Fall when sweet, pretty, miniature crab apples start showing up in the produce department. From Dr. George York of the University of Southern California at Davis, I got the following advice on how to make spiced crab apples. This has several steps, but it’s mostly passive: you do one step and then wait. Don’t be put off by the multiple steps. It’s worth it.



Crab Apples







Optional: Canned beet juice



Place crab apples in a salt solution of 1 quart water and 2 tablespoons salt for 2-3 days to allow better penetration of the vinegar mixture. Make enough salt solution to cover the amount of crab apples you are spicing.

After 3 days, remove the fruit and rinse with water. Make 2.5 percent vinegar solution. Since household vinegar is 5 percent. Dilute it with water, i.e. 1 quart vinegar to 1 quart water. Add fruit to vinegar solution.

Add sugar to mixture. You add as much sugar as you have vinegar. If you have used 1 quart of vinegar (4 cups), add 4 cups of sugar. If your hackles go up at the thought of adding this amount of sugar, remember what we’re concocting here isn’t going to be served as a main course, but as a garnish with perhaps one small apple per person. Heat mixture about 5 minutes until apples begin to soften. Cool.

Add spices such as ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Taste for seasoning.

Let sit in refrigerator for 5-7 days. This can either be eaten or used immediately. If you want a brighter red color, use juice from canned beets to color; this is a matter of personal preference since the naturally colored golden-red apples are also nice.

This is a recipe from my book The Good Food Compendium - An indispensable guide to sensible nutrition and eating pleasures for those who care about fine fare and wholesome living.