Wouldn't you know I had everything I needed to build our solar oven and it decides to rain three days in a row!
Well, we didn't let a little rain keep us for foraging for more edible plants! This week we went hunting for crabapples. I knew they would be in season and I thought I had spied a tree near a sidewalk on the way to the park the other day. So basket,plant journals, and camera in hand, we set off to find that crabapple tree!
Crabapples are typically used as ornamental trees. I don't think a whole lot of people really figure them for eating, 'cept us! tee hee
Well, geez it was on our list of edible plants, so we were going to try it.
You're most likely to find crabapple trees in parks, along driveways, sidwalks, or decorating a front lawn. They are really beautiful trees...we actually planted one in our front yard back in South Carolina. It was a gorgeous pink one!
Well, I did not take this pic, but I had to show you these beautiful pink appleblossoms. The tree we found though was white.
This is a closeup of the crabapples...the ones we found resemble a cherry! They are hard and very sour. So we don't eat them right off the tree. Help yourself though if you love lemons! ;)
We were headed up to the guy's front porch to ask if we could pick some, since technically the tree was in his yard although the branches hung over the sidewalk :/
Then we realized he had cut off several branches and set them by the road for the trash crew to pick up the next morning. Well these branches were LOADED with these crabapples...so we went to pickin' :)
I decided I would make applebutter with these. I had found a recipe and I loved applebutter anyway as a kid, so I made some. Quite delectable I must say! The fruit has high levels of natural pectin in it anyway so it makes great applebutter without the fuss of canning for freezer or shelf! It will keep for a couple weeks in the fridge.
I soaked my crabapples in water for awhile. The worms and debris will float to the top. You might do this a couple times. Then I cut the fruit in half and removed the stems.
Discard the rinse water. Then I measured how much fruit I had and then added water to equal half the fruit I had. So like I had 2 cups of fruit I added one cup water. Boil for a good 15 minutes, the fruit and the water.
Then strain seeds and skin by pushing the fruity pulp through a strainer along with the water...maybe you'll find an easier way. It's so soft anyway after you boil it, I didn't mind having some skin in the mix...I made sure I took out seeds though.
After straining the pulp, put the same water and fruit back in the pot and simmer on low for about 2 hours to get a nice soft applebutter... I actually didn't even do mine that long. It's all in how thick and smooth you want your applebutter.
Then add 1 teaspoon of apple pie spice or cinnamon and 1 or half cup of sugar. Then simmer again for about 10 or 15 minutes. It's really easy and like I said it will keep in the fridge for several weeks.
I made just enough to fill a canning jar, it was sooo good I think I will be back to pick more! :)