I came across a reference to this unusual pickle and thought it would be fun to try. As it uses whole fruit it makes an attractive bottled condiment which I think will go well with Cold meat or Cheese. Or be really adventurous and add one of the Spiced Crab Apples to the bottom of glasses of mulled wine at Christmas!
It is best to make these Spiced Crab Apples in small batches so that the fruit stays as whole and undamaged. When bottling them, spoon the Crab Apples individually into the jar and ensure the syrup covers them before sealing. Read these general notes for making Pickles and Preserves
- 1lb (450g) Crab Apples
- 1/4 pint Water
- 1 strip of peel from an unwaxed Lemon
- 3oz / 75g Sugar
- 5 tbsp (75ml) White Wine Vinegar
- 1/2 stick Cinnamon
- 2 Peppercorns
- 1 sml Clove
- Choose which Jars you will use, remember that the fruit will pack tighter when cooked so you will probably get as twice as many in each jar than you think.
- Wash and trim the Crab apples. Prick the skin a couple of times to prevent them bursting.
- Place them as a single layer of fruit in a large pan with the water and Lemon peel and simmer very gently until the fruit is just softening, then remove from the heat.
- *Tip: when you see a few of the skins splitting but not all*
- In a separate pan add the vinegar and sugar, with the juice from the simmered fruit. Place the spices in a muslin bag, or Herb Ball (diffuser) in the pan. Heat until the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat and boil for about 1 minute. Pour the liquid over the Crab Apples and simmer them gently until the liquid has the consistency of a light syrup. This can take up to 40 minutes so remove the spices after 30 mins. When finished carefully spoon the fruit into jars ensuring they keep their shape. Press or shake down gently the fruit, then pour the liquid over them until it covers the fruit. Seal the Jars