Feeling crabby? How to cook crabapples

Flirty fruits | September 4, 2013 | By

Yay! I found crab apples at our local mini market this week! Love when a dangerous food’s name gives me the opportunity to go off on a tangent.



Here is a shortlist of a fraction of the things that can make me feel crabby, followed by a recipe for some sweet-tempered crab apple butter, originally borrowed from some Mennonites (tweaked version below). Please contribute to my list of crabbiness catalysts with your own in the comments.

Things that can make Ann crabby

1. Horseflies, and/or Deerflies. Mosquitoes also make Ann crabby, but in a one-to-one bug cage match, a horsefly or deerfly would win hands down. Unfortunately, mosquitoes rarely travel alone, so let’s just leave this bullet point at “bugs in general, especially those that bite.”

2. Taxes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m quite socialist, I just hate submitting my tax return. I don’t even prepare it myself. But I hate preparing it for the preparer. I might just be a nightmare to my friends and family for the whole month of April as a result. Are taxes due after April? I may have repressed the month of April.

3. 3:00-5:30am. At first I was going to say, “When my cat wakes me up in the night, because if it’s not kids waking me up I’m crabby extreme,” but then I realized that even if my kids wake me up I’m pretty crabby extreme, so basically it’s just those hours on the clock, generally. If I’m awake then, I’m crabby, no matter what the circumstances.

4. Overcooked meat.

5. My kids say I’m crabby when I have a ponytail in. I actually wear a ponytail quite a bit. Maybe it’s because I was awake between 3-5:30 and so in the true morning I’m too tired to blow dry my hair. My kids might have a point.

6. A shopping trip to Sephora. I feel like all those eensy weensy jars of eye creams for $100 come from the same huge vat of sour cream in the back room, and the pretty little chicks pushing 5 of them on me drives me nuts. But don’t worry. I’ve been boycotting cosmetics for years, socking the cash away so that when they come up with a way to buy a brand new face I’ll be first in line.

Thanks rapgenius.com

Thanks rapgenius.com

And… now we’re getting into too much info territory. Here’s a tasty early fall recipe for you, using the very dangerous crabapple (in saying “dangerous,” here, I’m referring to my theme rather than actual danger, except for the whole cyanide in the seeds thing. Just don’t eat too many of those. And keep the crab apples away from pets, mm kay?)

Crab apple

Mennonite Crab Apple Butter (serves 6)

  • About 30-40 crab apples
  • 1.5C sugar
  • 1C water
  • 1Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2tsp allspice
  • 1/4tsp ground cloves

Directions: Boil apples in a pot of water, 45 minutes. Squash them (using sieve, if you like) and throw out any hard bits left – there will be a hard seed pod in each mushy apple. Here’s where I stray from the Mennonites. Throw all that good pulp and those skins into your slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients, making sure there’s enough water (about a cup) so that the slop is mobile and won’t stick to the bottom. Turn slow cooker on high and let it go for a few more hours, finally boiling off any excess water on the stove if you’re looking for a thicker butter.

Boiling butter

(Know why I used a slow cooker? Because house fires also make me crabby, and I’m not Mennonite enough to watch the pot for hours).

Results: I served the crab apple butter over pork chops,

Crab apple butter and porkand while it was like a sweet apple butter, it also had a bite to it that got into your cheeks, a bit like tannins in red wine. Pretty cool. If I had a crab apple tree, you could be sure I’d make this a tradition for every fall, and I might even learn how to can it. Smells up the whole house, in a good way. Rating: 3 Yums

Question: Let’s hear it! What makes you crabby? 



  1. Leave a Reply

    September 4, 2013

    Love it!

    I get crabby when I can’t get things out of the shed because the items are bigger than the space I’m trying to remove them from. I swear a lot during those moments 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      September 4, 2013

      Yes – those home organizer people must really fight the evils of crabbiness with shelving and hooks. I wish one lived in my house (this is where Phil pipes up and says “one does!!”)

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      September 4, 2013

      Thanks! I’ve known a few people with trees of them over the years, but I think they got crabby with all the “useless” apples falling and making a mess

  2. Leave a Reply

    September 7, 2013

    Just stopping by. This recipe looks and sounds amazing!

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      September 7, 2013

      Thanks for commenting so I know you did! I was thinking about you this morning as I sewed some fabric holsters for my daughter’s Epi pen (she was told in Grade 1 she has to wear it full time, and I thought we could do better than a fanny pack). Mine turned out ok, but if only I were you… Anyone reading should check out your blog!

  3. Leave a Reply

    Heather Sccott
    September 13, 2013

    People forcing me out of my seat on the bus who can’t wait until the bus stops and rudeness in general makes me crabby! Great recipe Ann, hope you are all well .

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      September 13, 2013

      Yes, those people who need to be extra prepared for things make me crabby too, Heather! They can’t wait the extra 60 seconds until the bus stops? Good to hear from you! Hope everyone is well!

  4. Leave a Reply

    September 15, 2013

    Hello Ann!
    Thank you so much again for being a blogger of the day on our site! We wanted to send you a quick note to let you know we are currently hosting a recipe contest in search of the best apple recipe. This recipe would be a great contender! The contest ends 10/10/2013. If you are interested in competing, visit our site to share your favorite apple recipe for a chance to win a Kindle Fire HD!


    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      September 15, 2013

      Ooh, exciting, thanks!! I’ll definitely check it out!!

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