Whoohooo!! It’s Crabapple Season!

Not Far From the Treesummary: Crabapple Jelly; more recipe ideas for crabapples; information about Not Far From the Tree

Crabapple Jelly 2015

I cannot believe that Not From the Tree organizers have difficulty getting people to pick crabapples! I love crabapple jelly and every time I see that there is a crabapple pick, I want to jump in. Alas, the timing this year wasn’t the best for me and it broke my heart to see crabapple pick after crabapple pick go by, with notices of “Needing More Fruit Pickers”. But finally, I was able to go to pick crabapples. And lucky me, it was only a few blocks away.

crabapples I guess I shouldn’t really have been surprised the other day, when it turned out there were only two of us picking beautiful red crabapples. I couldn’t wait to get home to make jelly!

The tree was quite tall but appeared to be in pretty good shape. And it was covered in apples! We learned from the homeowner that it had been planted in 1967 – as one of the Centennial trees.

I googled to learn that Canada’s Centennial tree was the “Royalty” Crabapple, chosen because it is hardy to zone 2.

[M]ost crabapples can be expected to last in the range of 40 to 50 years, provided it is not hit with the dreaded fire blight which will generally kill it the year it hits. They generally form a rounded tree, and usually would not be expected to exceed seven or eight metres in height (20 ft.). They do prefer a sunny growing location, but have few other ‘demands’. They do require some pruning, perhaps annually, which will help slow its growth
-Art Drysdale, Looking Back at Canada’s Centennial Tree, ICanGarden.com

Crabapple Jelly 2015 We used most of the lovely apples to make jelly but I kept a few aside to add to Swiss Chard stir-fry (sorry no photos but trust me, it’s not only beautiful to look at but delicious as well!!)

crabapple jelly We love crabapple jelly on toast. It’s also delicious with blue cheese (we splashed out and got some beautiful St.Agur at St. Lawrence Market).

I cannot get over the colour of the jelly! And could it be more perfectly formed?

Crabapple Jelly

Of course, there are many other things to do with crabapples:

Here are a few delicious ways to keep your surplus of crabapples (or the neighbours’) from filling up the compost bin
Make jelly Do what your grandma did — preserve the surplus of apples in your back yard by simmering juiced apples and sugar. […] While it’s still hot, pour the jelly into hot jars, adding a cinnamon stick to each jar if you like; skim off any foam that rises to the top with a spoon, and seal. Set aside to cool. Process in a hot water bath or store in the fridge.
Make bread pudding Any basic bread pudding recipe will benefit from chunks of tart apple […]
Pickle them Sweet and tangy pickled crabapples are delicious. […]
Make your own pectin Crabapples, and particularly their cores and seeds, are naturally very high in pectin. […]
Make a tarte tatin Whether you want to make a full-sized tarte tatin or a few small ones, wee crabapples are tart enough to balance the rich pastry and caramel that binds them together. […]
– Julie Van Rosendaal, 5 things to do with crabapples, CBC News

Julie has also published recipe for slow roasted crabapples dinnerwithjulie.com/2010/09/08/slow-roasted-crabapples-pickled-chutney/ on her blog, Dinner with Julie.

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Not Far From the Tree Not Far From the Tree

“Not Far From the Tree” is a Toronto organization that includes a residential fruit-picking program to pick fruit (with permission, of course) that would otherwise go to waste.

There are lots and lots of fruit trees and vines in Toronto!! Bearing fruit that is eaten by birds, squirrels and raccoons. If you have such a thing in your garden and would like the animals to share the fruit with people, please do contact “Not Far From the Tree”. They will send a team of pickers to clean up your yard of fallen fruit and pick the good fruit that is still in the tree. The harvested fruit is divided evenly into 3 portions: one third going to the tree owners, one third going to the volunteer pickers and the final third going to food banks, shelters, and community kitchens.

For more information about NFFtT and how you can donate your time and/or share your fruit, please go to

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This entry was posted in food & drink, NFFtT on by . Crabapple Jelly

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