This evening marked the end of my procrastination. My friend had dropped off 3 grocery bags full of crab apples last week and I had ignored them for long enough. They were like the people you invite to a party to be polite… and then they actually show up …and then they borrow your toothbrush and NEVER LEAVE.
I can’t stand wasting food, so I rolled up my sleeves and set to work after the kids were in bed. This process always starts off happy and optimistic for me. I have visions of wearing an adorable apron, my hair in a scarf and little kitchen heels on my feet.
First… get some crab apples. People GIVE these things away. Seriously…… Delivered. To. My. Door.
Put on a big pot of water to boil. This is my favorite big pot. It’s super green. It’s super heavey cast iron with enamel coating, and it’s super huge. The lids is
missing somewhere safe. You don’t need a lid for this process anyway.
Put crab apples in the pot. It’s not an exact science. One layer deep and not too tooo toooooo many. You have to fit them into a colander/strainer after they’re cooked so use the size of that as a guideline.
Boil them. A lot. They will start to Crack, then go all mushy. Approx 10 minutes (give or take a few). You want them mushy and starting to fall apart, but not completely fallen apart. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon. Make sure you let all the water drain back into the pot before transfering them into the colander. You don’t want runny applesauce!
Put them into a pot with a colander that is nested inside of a bigger pot or big bowl. (You need something under it to catch the applesauce).
Next is child’s play… squish the apples around and through the holes with a spatula. This takes a while… about 10-ish minutes. I put a new batch of apples in the pot to cook while I squish the current batch through the colander. It seems to be effective time management.
Squish them A LOT…. really…. Until there is no more sauce left to squish out.
The left over cores, peels, and stems can be discarded. I put mine into the garbage. You could compost them if you’re one of those super-organized-save-the-earth types of people (I’m totally not there yet).
This is where the optimism starts to wain… this was all he sauce that I got from my first boil…
But plod on! It gets better. I promise! Remember to clean off the bottom of the colander every once in a while.
See… it starts to accumulate. Batch after batch. Soon you’ll be finished a whole bag and feel sooooo accomplished.
That is, until you look over and see you aren’t even halfway through. Gah! 2 more bags to go!
Keep at it! Do some more! Drink a beverage of choice…. chat on speaker phone to your mom/bestie/boyfriend… listen to some tunes… do whatever it is you have to do to break the monotony. Just keep at it… besides, your kitchen is a disaster already, so no sense in stopping now. The end result will be worth it!
I kept pouring the crabapple sauce into my favorite antique mixing bowl. I like things to look pretty.
After a couple hours my task was complete and the sauce was covered and tucked away safely into the fridge. Ready for part #2 tomorrow…. The transformation into “Grandma Kay’s Crab Apple Butter”!