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Exotic Fruit Market offers Organic Crabapples. Usually the season of our Organic Crabapple starts from September through December.

Crabapples have a very astringent, tart taste, and are usually unpleasant to eat fresh. However, they make excellent jelly, jam, and sauce, and have traditionally been used in cider. They pair well with strong blue cheeses, such as English Stilton.

Crabapple trees are popular ornamentals. Small to medium in size, the drought-tolerant trees are fairly low maintenance and offer colorful blooms in springtime. In the fall, the trees provide a second burst of color as the fruit emerges. In colors ranging from brilliant red to yellow, the fruit of the crabapple tree is a beautiful addition to the fall landscape and will attract a variety of birds.

The cherry-sized fruit often persists into the winter months and most people tend to leave them to the birds. Extremely tart when picked, that bitter blast leads some to believe this fall fruit is inedible. In reality, crabapples belong to the same genus as regular apples (Malus). Although they lack the sweet hand-fruit appeal of other varieties in the genus, the primary differentiation is one of size. Fruit of trees in the Malus genus larger than 2” are called apples. Anything smaller is known as a crabapple.

Despite this clarification, eating the fall fruit straight from the tree doesn’t hold much appeal. High tannin content makes crabapples sour. The misunderstood fruit of the crabapple tree can be used in pies, syrups, wine or even pickled with great success. Like other fruit of its genus, crabapples are high in pectin, making jelly perhaps their most popular use.

Crabapple jelly has just two ingredients: Crabapples and sugar. Once the fruit has been cooked, the juice can be extracted to produce a bright and beautiful jelly with just the right bite. Not all crabapples are created equally. Depending on the variety, crabapples with less pectin may require additional cook time. Once the jelly has hit the magic 220 degrees, drizzle a drop onto a cold plate (pop one in the freezer before you begin) and let it rest a minute or two. If it is runny and no surface skin has formed, allow the jelly to cook another 2-3 minutes and test again before canning.

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