We have lived in our house for several years now, but it wasn't until about a week ago that we realized that one of our little trees was a crab apple tree. They are the little tiny crab apples that look more like cherries, but they are in fact apples and they are also fairly sweet.
I got rather excited that we actually have a fruit tree in our yard, so yesterday I picked a bunch from the bottom set of branches and then went to consult the internet to find out what I could make with them.
The downside of having the tiny-sized apples is that there is a lot of roughage and not a lot of flesh, but eventually I figured out the most efficient way to remove the stem and prep the fruit. After that it all went into the crock pot for 16 hours. Yes, you read that right, I started them on the 6-hour temperature setting, and while they smelled delicious at the end they were only barely starting to soften. So, I reset the pot for the 10-hour cycle and went to bed, In the morning I had a lovely crock pot full of mushy crab apples. Eventually I got around to the next step in preparing them, using a potato masher and a strainer to push all the crab apple sauce through but leave the seeds and skins behind. In the end I got about 3.5 cups of mash, which wasn't much for all the work, but it was a very tasty 3.5 cups.
As a final step, I made Crab Apple Butter, with the recipe I found on the internet. Wow, is it tasty! I think that tomorrow I am going to have to make some fresh bread to spread it on.
Does anyone else know of any uses for crab apples? The internet tells me they make a really good cider, but I'm not sure it would be worth the work. I'll keep you posted.