Spiced crabapples

I’d be the first to admit these don’t look great – but they taste wonderful! If you can ignore the murky appearance as they mellow (it looks a bit like eyeballs floating in engine oil) you'll be rewarded by a superb pickle to accompany cold meats.

We harvest the crabapples from the many trees around our allotment site – being careful not to strip the trees as birds like crabapples too and need them through the winter – and we keep our jars for about two months. The first one gets opened at Christmas, to go with cold turkey, which is massively enhanced by the tangy flavour of these pickles. They look good out of the jar too, and make a lovely presentation dish when they are arranged in a shallow plate.

2 lbs brown sugar
1 pint apple cider vinegar
3 cinnamon sticks (broken in half)
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
A couple of pounds of crabapples

Sterilise your jars.
Wash the crabapples and prick each one several times with a fork.
Stir the sugar, vinegar and cinnamon sticks together. Tie cloves and allspice in a piece of cloth and place in pot. Bring this mixture to a boil and keep there for a minute.
While the sugar mixture is heating, pack your jars about 3/4 full of apples (watch out, they will expand). Add a cinnamon stick to each jar. Remove the spice sack and ladle the hot brine over apples (leaving about half an inch of head space). If necessary clean the rim and jar threads with a damp cloth before sealing the lids
Process the jars in a boiling water bath for about twenty minutes and refrigerate any jars that do not seal properly.
Allow fruit to absorb the flavour of the syrup for at least a week before enjoying.

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Sunday, November 4, 2007


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