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Thread: Got Crabapples??? Crabapple Gin!

  1. #1

    Default Got Crabapples??? Crabapple Gin!

    Alberta city asks residents to harvest the fruit trees they asked for
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calga...ting-1.4795473



    Lethbridge, Alta., is asking its citizens to pick the fruit from the trees the city planted, based on requests from some of those same citizens.

    "This was kind of a pressure brought on us by citizens to provide pickable fruit trees in the trees we plant in our parks, so we went ahead with it," Kevin Jensen told The Homestretch on Wednesday.


    He's the manager of parks operations and says some of those trees that were planted four years ago need some love.


    "We have some fruit trees like crabapples planted along boulevards in front of people's houses, and the sidewalks become messy and it becomes actually dangerous," Jensen said.


    Not crazy about granny's crabapple jelly
    Overall, though, he says the pilot project — called Edible Orchard — has been a success. About 400 trees were planted.


    "We are not the Okanagan Valley, so all of that stuff has to be hardy. Most of the stuff we have is more suitable for canning and preserves than eating. There's apple trees, several varieties and a good size.


    "We also have crabapple trees, which my grandmother used to make into jellies and jams, but I was never really that crazy about it," he said, with a laugh.


    "We have some Nanking cherry-style bushes, we have some Saskatoon berries. Just your regular kind of berry bushes that grow around here."

    Went to a park and picked a pail full of sour crabapples.



    Made a crapapple & strawberry deep-dish pie. Awesome.

    Now you want more awesomeness?

    My Famous Crabapple Gin!




    I have been making this simple liqueur for decades and thought you are now ready to make some for yourself!


    Need
    5 litre glass jar with tight fitting lid.
    3 cups sugar
    2 +/- litres of gin
    Bucket of fresh picked crabapples (ripe & sour but not overripe and pulpy)
    Note, do not use the very small decorative crabs or the larger 'rescue' type

    Simple instructions
    Wash crabapples in cold water
    Trim off stem and cut off flower (do not peel)
    Fill jar nearly to the top
    Add sugar
    Gill to cover with gin
    Put on lid tightly and place in sunny window

    Toughest part
    Wait 90 days without opening

    Then pour out liquid, filter and bottle in 375ml liqueur bottles (about 1 dozen)
    Store in cool and dark place.
    Drink within 3 months
    Makes twice as much as the gin you added (about 4 litre yield)
    This is a slightly sweet, tart and extremely satisfying liqueur with about a 20% alcohol content that everyone who has tried it, says it is better than any ice apple cider or ice wine with more intense sour apple flavor and body and a 20% kick.

    Leftovers
    Not forgetting the remaining apples that are now spongy and lost their color
    Squeeze the apples in a sieve and extract applesauce paste.
    Paste can be used immediately or frozen
    Use 20% alcohol paste filling between layers of chocolate cake for the best cake you have ever tasted
    You can pour additional liqueur on top layer and allow to soak into cake before icing or whipped cream topping
    Retiring Mayor Mandel and Michael Phair both thoroughly enjoyed this cake at their retirement party

    Best way to have an apple a day!
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  2. #2

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    ^Seems like a lot of trouble to make 4litres of 20% alcohol gin out of what was originally 2 litres of 40% gin. How is it that you obtain not one bit of increased alcohol content with all that sugar and fruit used? Why even bother?


    Heres my recipes.

    Pick raspberries. Chill on cookie sheets in freezer, separate into freezer containers or freezer ziplocs.

    Do same with Blueberries, with Saskatoons. I have one freezer almost loaded with free picked fruit. You want to wash the Blueberries and Saskatoons though. Never know what is being sprayed around those.
    Last edited by Replacement; 26-08-2018 at 02:03 PM.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  3. #3

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    It is all about taste. A bottle of crabapple liqueur is a cherished gift.

    Basically it is an infusion. I made 2, 5 litre jars and between picking, cleaning and preparation, was done in 1-3/4 hour.

    I forgot to mention, do not use vodka. Comes out bland. Gin works best.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    It is all about taste. A bottle of crabapple liqueur is a cherished gift.

    Basically it is an infusion. I made 2, 5 litre jars and between picking, cleaning and preparation, was done in 1-3/4 hour.

    I forgot to mention, do not use vodka. Comes out bland. Gin works best.

    Everybody has different tastes. For me the dryer the better. I don't like sugary alcoholic beverages. I drink very little liquors.


    heh, knew a lot of people that do what you do making specialty liquors out of 40% alcohol. My response was the same, why bother, I would prefer just the dry gin..



    But the other side is I don't dabble in anything like this anymore as it just incites more drinking. I used to homebrew and make wine. I stopped because having all that batch product on the shelves and that I couldn't even giveaway makes you feel like you should drink some of it before expiry, which always comes fast with this type of thing. from a health pov I just stopped doing ANY of my own brewing. There was just no point to it. I'm kind of pragmatic. Eventually asking myself why am I doing this, just to drink more? I stopped it at once and just threw the lot of it out eventually. as much as my product was good being that it was batches I tired of the taste. Even though I would not make the same batch twice. When you're talking 21itre batches at a time its easy to get tired of it.

    Also, had just one ex friend who I heard later was desultory about me bringing over a bottle of my own wine instead of one from the store. They called it cheap even though I got compliments routinely. You get one person saying something like that and it puts you off doing it at all. So that I wouldn't even be as inclined to give it away anymore. When someone pisses on a gift like that (as well as your friendship) it fairly ensures not making the same mistake twice. I even heard the same from other brewers. it was weird. Its as if some people are jealous that a person makes the effort.

    That said kudos to your effort even though its not my preference.



    ps you have to include picking, sorting in your time spent as well. The investment in time is more than what one says to themselves as my wife would also remind me. I would watch those batches as if they were my progeny..
    Last edited by Replacement; 26-08-2018 at 02:46 PM.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  5. #5

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    Today I picked a bunch of my tomatoes and basil and am making about 5 litres of pasta sauce.

    Guess I could have just picked up a few jars at Stuff-Mart and saved myself the trouble...
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Today I picked a bunch of my tomatoes and basil and am making about 5 litres of pasta sauce.

    Guess I could have just picked up a few jars at Stuff-Mart and saved myself the trouble...
    heh, NOW you are preaching to the converted. I'm an avid gardener. THAT pastime improves my health in increasing consumption of homegrown (real organic) no pesticides no herbicides fruit and veggies. I'm one step ahead of you. I use all those tomatoes in making precooked meals that freeze well. Soups, Lazy cabbage rolls, Lasagna, Chili etc. as well as sauce. you can also freeze them bad boy tomatoes straight up for when you need it in dishes. Romas work well and I highly recommend btw, they grow exceptionally well here in our new climate..


    I love that kind of thing because it doesn't hurt me or my liver. I'm predisposed to healthy pursuits.

    One thing though. What kind of Basil? I have mounds of the stuff this year but it doesn't taste great imo. I almost prefer it without the basil.

    Pro tip. Grow your own onions and a couple of your own pepper plants and throw some of that in in the sauce. wow. I braise the Onions and peppers in some oil to help release the tastes. Also we have garlic chives that work quite nicely in a pasta sauce. The basil we have doesn't seem to help the taste. Maybe I'm not using it in right amount. Also, throw some parsley in. It gives it a nice fuller taste.


    ps you missed my edit. I said kudos to your efforts despite it not being my thing.

    cheers
    Last edited by Replacement; 26-08-2018 at 03:09 PM.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  7. #7
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    I've had the orchard growing for 2 years now....not too bad. I'm looking to do full on cider in a couple of years, not an infusion. Crabapples actually work well for the dryer stuff...
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

  8. #8

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    Yep, that's the other thing. Why the infusion, just fermentation of a cider would be more enjoyable imo, and more pragmatic

    That said not crapabble its way too taste strong imo. One of the reasons people don't use them for much of anything after ever trying to. I'm not sure how crabapples were ever named but perhaps the response to tasting the fruit of the wasted space that tree grows on...

    heh, if you have a lot of space its ok, as a city property owner if you had a crabapple tree you cut it down, took out all the roots, suffered for years of the things trying to grow back from the dead, and rued the day you put in a crabapple (which I never did but a previous owner did...)
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  9. #9

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    As an infusion , it takes on the true taste of the fresh, tart crabapples with a higher alcohol content than fermentation. If you want a dryer version, just cut the sugar in half.

    The gin compliments the taste but is hidden in the flavors of apple. I tried vodka and it was flat and uninspiring.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    As an infusion , it takes on the true taste of the fresh, tart crabapples with a higher alcohol content than fermentation. If you want a dryer version, just cut the sugar in half.

    The gin compliments the taste but is hidden in the flavors of apple. I tried vodka and it was flat and uninspiring.
    Again kudos to the effort involved and posting the recipe that might be appreciated by some. The mere thought of crapapple taste reminds me of something I would rather play baseball with than eat. Most people have a fairly intense dislike of crapabbles which are the simple worst fruiting trees anybody could ever plant.


    Which is why Lethbridge is begging people to come and pick some of these crapapples. Nobody ever wants them but the wasps.

    Again I'd prefer the taste of gin. hate crabapple taste


    But I'm just being sour, heh.
    Last edited by Replacement; 26-08-2018 at 04:44 PM.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  11. #11
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    Love the crab apples. Nice and sour.

  12. #12

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    Somebody british exposed me to a beer-cider type thing called crabbies. Tasted like rabies combined with crabs strained through dirty socks. Or almost like Magners(rotten apple brew) At least that's what my review said..

    Theres also a Brit Liquor as well named crabsomething. Tastes the same except stronger.


    I even like Ginger.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Yep, that's the other thing. Why the infusion, just fermentation of a cider would be more enjoyable imo, and more pragmatic

    That said not crapabble its way too taste strong imo. One of the reasons people don't use them for much of anything after ever trying to. I'm not sure how crabapples were ever named but perhaps the response to tasting the fruit of the wasted space that tree grows on...

    (…)
    ...actually, true cider apples are no more than a slightly larger crabapple. You wouldn't bake them in a pie, but the added benefit is the mash makes great finishing cattle feed. I'm going to take some scions from Dad's orchard in the Okanogan and see how they fare in a fairly sheltered southern face I have...he had 700 trees so I am sure his estate won't miss a branch or two...
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Yep, that's the other thing. Why the infusion, just fermentation of a cider would be more enjoyable imo, and more pragmatic

    That said not crapabble its way too taste strong imo. One of the reasons people don't use them for much of anything after ever trying to. I'm not sure how crabapples were ever named but perhaps the response to tasting the fruit of the wasted space that tree grows on...

    (…)
    ...actually, true cider apples are no more than a slightly larger crabapple. You wouldn't bake them in a pie, but the added benefit is the mash makes great finishing cattle feed. I'm going to take some scions from Dad's orchard in the Okanogan and see how they fare in a fairly sheltered southern face I have...he had 700 trees so I am sure his estate won't miss a branch or two...
    Don't mind me I got my crab on. heh. I like real dry cider like strongbow dry. Can't do with standard variations that have way too much sugar and seem to use apples that have turned. Open a magners and its a strong taste of rotten apple.

    RIP for your dad Richard. Hope you are doing OK. Would be nice to see how some cuttings from his trees fare here, I'm sure he'd want that orchard continued.

    I've done some ciders from batch prekits all the way to using real apples. Biggest problem I had was keeping alcohol or alternately sugar content down. With the apples maybe has to be started well before ripe to get dry result and not 15% rocket fuel...(one or two bottle limit as it goes straight to the head) With crabapples the taste is just too strong and the sour too pronounced. You end up having to kill that taste with way too much sugar imo.

    I'm growing some grapes on a south exposure here but they're really sour and the leaves overheat and wither. So its weird. Too hot for the leaves but not hot enough for the grapes to ripen.
    Last edited by Replacement; 26-08-2018 at 08:39 PM.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  15. #15

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    Just to be clear, when I say crabapples, I speak of the common ones that about an inch to 1.25 (2.5-3cm) in diameter and can be eaten craw but are very sour.


    I tried using my mother's 'rescue' variety of apples once which are larger like an apricot about 1.5- 2" diameter (3.6-5cm) but these are not acidic enough and oxidize too fast and the gin liqueur will taste oxidized as well.



    I also found a while grove of small ornamental crabs which are cherry sized about 3/4" diameter (1.9cm) in diameter and hard as rocks. They were ok but almost no juice added and made a lot less volume and the remaining apples could not be squeezed for paste.


    After bottling, a few weeks of rest improves the flavor and slightly more mellow
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  16. #16

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    ^I was trying to figure out what the term "rescue apples" meant. I still don't really know. Are those apples requiring rescueing or you need rescuing after eating them. I feel that way about crabbies.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  17. #17

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    Could plant McIntosh apple trees etc for a sweeter apple.

    Apricot and pear trees as well.
    Last edited by KC; 26-08-2018 at 09:28 PM.

  18. #18

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    Edible Fruit Trees Map
    Edmonton - Open Data Portal

    https://data.edmonton.ca/Environment...rees/dsgm-wamx

  19. #19

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    My old boss had many trees in his double lot in Belvedere. He grafted 29 types of apples and even one apricot variety onto one tree.
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  20. #20
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    If you don't want to pick your fruit, organizations like OFRE will help out

    https://operationfruitrescue.org/

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