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What to do with your crabapples

As autumn approaches, so does the inevitable bumper crop of crabapples. This time of year crabapple trees are literally dripping with an abundance of these miniature fruits. So what do you do with them all?

Crabapple recipes

Crabapple trees seem to be part of almost every neighbourhood in Canada, but what can you do with this tart, crisp fruit bite? You might have fond memories of smothering your toast with Grandma’s famous crabapple jelly or of sipping your uncle’s homemade crabapple wine at a family picnic, but this little apple has more to offer than that. Here are a few ideas.

Crabapple vodka

Vodka infusions can be made with virtually any fruit, so why not crabapples? This is a simple recipe you can make as mild or as strong as you like. It also makes a wonderful host gift, so get a few batches started while crabapple season is here, and you’ll be ready for the winter party season!


  • 15–20 crabapples, washed and cut in half
  • Vodka


  1. Clean and dry a large jar that has a tight-fitting lid.
  2. Add the crabapples, and fill with vodka.
  3. Seal the jar, and let it sit in a cool, dark place. Lightly shake the jar once a day.
  4. After about a week, taste the vodka to see how the flavour is coming along. If you prefer a stronger apple flavour, let the apples soak for another week. The vodka should have a yummy flavour after about two to three weeks. You can also make a sweet crabapple vodka by adding half a cup of sugar to the jar before steeping.
  5. After the vodka is ready, strain and store it in an airtight container.

Cran-crabapple sauce

Jazz up your next pork or turkey dinner with this tasty condiment! It also makes a perfect snack when served with warm brie and crusty bread.

Serving size approximately 2 -1/2 cups


  • 2 cups chopped, cored crabapples, with or without the peels
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dried cranberries
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon


  • Add the first four ingredients to a medium saucepan.
  • Cook, stirring often, over medium heat until just bubbling. Reduce heat to medium low, and add all the other ingredients.
  • Continue cooking until the cranberries have popped and the crabapples are tender.
  • Remove from heat, and lightly mush (while still keeping it chunky) the mixture with the back of the mixing spoon.
  • Taste, and add more sugar if needed.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature with your favourite meat dishes.

A non-food idea

Do you have a problem with spiders in your house? Well, some people believe spiders despise the smell of crabapples and tend to avoid them. If you want to try something that might help with a spider infestation, simply cut crabapples in half, and place them around the entrances to your home and wherever you see the little creatures. Does it work? There might not be absolute proof it does, but when it comes to a spider problem, does it really hurt to give it a try?

More fruit recipe ideas

3 Ways with watermelon
Very berry strawberry recipes
Cooking with coconuts

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