What does one do when you have a tree full of fruit that is practically inedible on its own? You make booze, of course!
My Mother-In-Law has a crabapple tree, that offered an overly abundant crop this year, so we decided to raid it and experiment with this malus fruit. Crabapples are very tart in the raw form, so some kind of cooking and processing of them is required. They are naturally very high in pectin, so crabapple jelly is an obvious recipe to transform these into, but I wanted to do something different.
"Do you have any vodka, Mom?" I asked.
"I have a whole bottle that I have had for years" she replied. A smile came to my face. Liqueur was the conclusive decision.
I was unsure that the crabapples alone would offer enough colour and flavour to the liqueur, so we also raided her raspberry patch and make Crabapple Raspberry Liqueur.
Although I have made many liqueurs in my lifetime, I have never made a variety quite like this. Basically to make any fruit liqueur, you soak it in vodka with sugar for a period of time and then strain it. It is so easy that you will be soon making all kinds of fruit liqueurs with any abundance of seasonal fruit you may have left over.
Here is the basic recipe we created, with pictures:
Crabapple Raspberry Liqueur
12 cups quartered crabapples
4 cups fresh raspberries (or from frozen)
4 cups white sugar
3 cups (750ml bottle) vodka
1. Place the cut crabapples and raspberries in a sealable container large enough to hold all of this fruit.
2. Add the sugar and pour in the vodka.
3. Stir to mix all the ingredients and let sit for 7 to 14 days, stirring it thoroughly once everyday. We sampled it everyday when we stirred it and ended up deciding that only 6 days was enough time - however the longer you let it sit, the more flavour and colour you will achieve.
4. Strain the solids. We used a pillow case and a fine wire mesh strainer to make sure we got out all the small raspberry seeds. For an even purer consistency, you may want to do a third straining using a coffee filter.
Until next time... Happy Cooking, and Happy Drinking!