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Wales, United Kingdom
Documenting one couple's attempts to live a more self-sufficient life.

Saturday 28 September 2013

Foraged Food Friday: Crab apples

In the field behind our house there's a crab apple tree that was ever so pretty in the spring.

Pretty spring-time blossom

Now it's laden with fruit and as I sit on the terrace with my cup of tea, I can hear little 'plops' as the fruit falls to the ground. I couldn't just ignore it, could I?

Isn't this a cute little basket? Ian rescued it from the tip for me.

Crab apples are small, very sharp tasting, and have rather manky looking skin. However, they're also high in pectin, which means they make excellent jellies. A jelly is distinct from a jam in having all the fruit strained out, which means there's no need to peel the tiny apples or remove the pips. I've made several different kinds; with blackberries, rowan berries, herbs (sage and rosemary, separately) and some plain, because I ran out of ideas. All are good, but they're the kind of thing I fancy occasionally, rather than wanting a lot of, so I scrounged some tiny jam jars from the local hotel and now have lots of little pots of apple jellies. I also have some bigger pots, because if you're using tiny jars, you need an awful lot of them!

Also harvesting this week
Common yellow brittlegills
Leek (first one of the season!)
Parsnip (ditto!)
Broad beans (just a few - mine don't set seed very well. I may try a different variety next year)
Runner beans
Bay leaves

Also eating
Courgette and mint soup (from freezer)
Peas (also from freezer. That was the last of this year's crop)
Damson jam mixed with...
Blackberry vinegar
Fairy ring champignon (dried. Used to make stock)
Kelp (dried. Used in stock with dried mushrooms, bay leaves and leek top)

Also drinking
Blackberry wine
Blackcurrant wine (both last year's, both now finished)
Blackberry and apple cordial
Bay herb ale
Heather ale

Foraged food challenge summary page here.


  1. Have you tried making a crab apple fruit leather?

  2. No, but I have tried fruit leather with haws as the high-pectin, low flavour fruit. Come to think of it, they're even more fiddly to prepare than crab apples. I may try your suggestion, thanks!

    1. ... not that crab apples are low flavour, but they'd go with lots of things, I should think.


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