Recently I found myself with a small mountain of crab apples from a late season pick. I’ve always been a fan of these underdog edibles. Sure crab apples don’t make a great first impression when sampled raw or pelted at you by your “hilarious” cousin, but when cooked and blended with the right ingredients, they will take you to flavour country!
I decided to make crab apple jelly using a fairly simple recipe made up of nothing more than crab apples and sugar. If you’re up for the challenge, you could make things a little more interesting by adding chokecherries, pomegranate, spices or chili peppers.
Unfortunately, my jelly dreams were squashed when the jelly failed to gel. I made the rookie mistake of trying to make too much jelly at once. My crab apple bounty produced 17 cups of crab apple juice so I essentially quintupled the recipe, and apparently if you even double a jelly recipe it probably won’t set.
I ended up with 17 jars of really delicious crab apple syrup and there was nothing to do but turn to the bottle. As it turns out, the sweet and tart taste of crab apple syrup makes for an excellent cocktail ingredient. You can make a great crab apple cocktail (not to be confused with an apple crab cocktail…that is actually a thing… really) with whisky or gin, or liven up a mojito or a martini.
Thanks to this syrup surplus, friends of Not Far From The Tree are currently in the lab, mixing up a signature drink for our End of Season Celebration on November 15th. This new concoction will be served alongside local brew, courtesy of Junction Craft Brewing and Mill Street Brewery, and a variety of sweet and savoury eats.