Until this year I’d never even considered the crab apple before. I’d long thought of it as a small, barely-worth-picking fruit which is pretty much inedible unless you cook it. In fairness, that opinion isn’t too far from the truth.
Now that I’ve given them a go though – in everything from crab apple and rose hip jelly to crab apple wine – I see their big strong point; they have such…appleiness about them, in both flavour and smell. And now that I’ve found them, I have more crab apples than I could possibly know what to do with.
This particular usage – the Crab Apple Liqueur – comes via the Booze For Free book by Andy Hamilton, albeit with a little tweaking. Technically a liqueur is an alcohol infused with fruit and added sugar. Andy’s original didn’t have the sugar, so I’ve added that creating something a little sweeter, to offset the slight sour twang of the crab apples. Now I just have to wait before I can drink it….
About 3 months in fact. Now I wouldn’t mind that, so much, since I’ve also chilli vodka, sea buckthorn gin, damson gin and sloe gin on the go, but the sad fact of the matter is that none of these are going to be ready for a good while yet. I might just be able to have some for Christmas but am guessing the flavour will be a little harsh – all of these taste better the longer that they are left.
Recipe: Crab Apple Liqueur
Summary: Crab apple liqueur is a great way of infusing the strong appliness of crab apples into an alcohol which you will be enjoying well into the winter months.
- 1 litre jar
- Approx 20 crab apples
- 200g White Sugar
- Start by washing your crab apples, removing the leaves / stems and drying well.
- Next cut in half and place into your jar, pouring over the sugar, finally adding the vodka.
- Give the jar a really good shake to mix it up well.
- Shake the jar each day or so for the next couple of weeks until all the sugar seems to have dissolved.
- Leave for a couple of months then strain through muslin cloth (or a tea towel) to remove the apples and any bits into bottles.
- Leave for a couple more months (or as long as you can bear) then drink, drink, drink!
Andy’s original skips the sugar, so you could give that a go. I personally think the sugar is necessary to offset the sourness of the crab apples.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)