Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Unexpected Harvest

Our no complaints summer weather inspired a plentiful harvest of fruit I never intended to pick.

Crappy Apples

On express orders from pretty much everyone who's had to deal with me lately, I took a walk up over the hill, to visit the horses. Right after I picked them a couple buckets of crappy apples.

Not to be confused with crabby apples. (Recipe below.)

 Crabby Apples

The big apples aren't very tasty. The little crab apples are even worse. Unless you're a horse. (Though I've discovered a few cups of brown sugar can take the edge off pretty much anything.)

Walnut Crab Apple Bread Recipe
  • 2 cups crab apples, schmooshed, seeds removed. (might want to get rid of those stems, too.)
  • 1/2 cup butter (lightened up: 1/4 cup butter + 1/4 cup applesauce)
  • 2 eggs (lighter: same amount, liquid eggs)
  • 1 cup brown sugar (real maple syrup is healthier, but I haven't goofed around with it)
  • 2 tbs. milk
  • 2 tbs. cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour (+ 2 extra tbs. flour if you live in the mountains, like me.)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins

Bake in a bread pan @ 350, for about an hour.

And, be warned:

* I've had mixed reviews on this recipe. I liked it. Bella thinks prepping and cooking baby crab apples is a huge waste of time. (She'd much rather eat them raw.)

What's that you say? These things produce fruit??
My soul goal for planting crab apple trees was the heavenly pink, white and fuchsia flowers in springtime. Fruit, if any, could be a tasty treat for the birds. Or, so I thought. We're gonna need lots more birds...


Liz said...

I've always loved crab apples, they are a great tree. But I don't think I'm going to start cooking with them yet. If I ever do...I know where to get a recipe.

A Garden of Threads said...

I would only grow the crabapple trees for the flowers, it is a lot of work using those tiny apples.

Snowcatcher said...

Even though the birds didn't clean up the crop for you, I think they're beautiful! So much color!

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Liz;
They're my favorite, too. :)

I'm with ya, Garden of Threads. I'd like to find a way to make mine flower more and produce less fruit..

Thx, Snowcatcher;
I'll give the birdies an A for effort. They've pecked holes in almost of them...

Rose said...

Bravo to you for putting so much effort into using up all those crabapples, Kate! I just leave them for the birds...our lane is filled with them, though, which the car tires have turned into crabapplesauce:) I have some crappy apples, too, but they do make a good applesauce, and baked with LOTS of sugar, they are quite tasty.

Carolyn ♥ said...

I do love their blossoms, but never enjoyed the apples on the ground. More birds sound like the perfect solution. Enjoy the sunshine... I placed an order of it for you. :)

Melanie J Watts said...

There are flowering crab varieties that produce no fruit.
I love crab apples I make them into apple sauce and pies although dealing with the cores is a pain.

Melospiza said...

Crab apples always look so delectable on the tree. Sure, they're small and annoying if a person is thinking "apple"--but if a person's thinking "blueberry," those are some LUCIOUS blueberries.

(If only they tasted like blueberries, though. Or plums. Or strawberries. Or, really, anything but apples, of which we always seem to be plagued by an abundance.)

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Rose!
Hmmm.... I wonder if I could do a crabby/crappy applesauce combo? May have to give that a try.

Thank you, Meredehuit, I hear we'll be having perfect temps for this early autumn weekend.

Hi, Melanie;
Crabapple Pie? I've never heard of that! Sounds yummy. Crabapple cobbler sounds even better. :)

LOL, Melospiza, I like this idea. If we could hybridize a pink flowering crab that produces crabapple-size raspberries I'd be in 7th heaven. PS: I finally figured out you're a songbird. I mean, your name is. [I always thought it was some Italian thing. You know... like leaning tower of...]

Anonymous said...

I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

God Bless You ~Ron

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thanks for the follow, Ron. Or, should I call you Geezer? :) I'll head over there and snoop around your blog.

Amy said...

Kate, I know I've been absent lately - will try to keep caught up. I was just eying my crab apple tree today wondering if it's worth it to fool with the fruit. My crabby apples are about the tenth of the size of yours, so methinks my question is answered. It's still one of my favorite trees in the Spring for sure!

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Amy;
Well... ya know my answer to this is the same as my answer to everything. Just buy yourself a horse and you won't need to worry about apples of any size. :D

Wendy said...

Wow, your crabapples are gorgeous! Ours are good for nothing except writing on the sidewalk. Love that photo of the horse. :)

Jan said...

I have always loved crabapple trees. We had one in our yard when I was a child growing up in PA...and I still remember it well. I wish I could grow one here but it's not the right environment in my yard and the climate isn't right either. The blossoms are, I think, even more lovely than the cherry trees here in the Washington DC area;-)

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thx, Wendy;
I think the red fruit is really pretty, too. I'm amazed at how laden the trees are this year.

Hi, Jan;
I like them better than cherry trees, too. My two faves are the Prairie Fire Crab and the Bechtel, those two don't seem as happy as this one, Sugar Tyme. I planted all 3 at the same time but Sugar is now twice the size.