Crab apples hang from the branches of the author’s tree in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen)

Crab apples hang from the branches of the author’s tree in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen)

Kalifornsky Kitchen: Crab apples signal fall

My most vivid memories of eating crab apples are all natural

Fall is here. You can smell it when you walk outside. It’s the rain and the crisp chill in the morning and the light frost and dew on the grass. Fall also looks like branches of ripe crab apples on the tree in our yard. They’re dangling on the branches, bright red and ready to be picked.

The last time I picked crab apples was about three years ago, when I was living in Anchorage. We were at my boyfriend’s parents’ old house. They were moving into a new house and we took several gallons of crab apples home with us. We made applesauce, fruit leather and spiced crab apples we preserved for whiskey cocktails and other delights.

We also made candied crab apples, an idea we got from the “Tutka Bay Lodge Cookbook.” The Dixon family grew up eating crab apples like they were candy apples from a fall carnival, dipped in caramel or chocolate and topped with crushed nuts, chocolate shavings or shredded coconut.

My most vivid memories of eating crab apples are all natural. During college, my friend Sasha and I would walk around campus and talk under crab apple trees, which was a big part of the University of Alaska Anchorage’s fall landscaping. She would grab one or two apples from the tree and eat them while we talked about math and men.

This fall, I won’t be starting another semester of school, but I will be picking from the tree in our yard. We’re going to try to make apple butter to share with friends. The recipe we are using is from a blog called Champagne Tastes. The recipe does require a slow cooker, so if you’re interested in making butter, but don’t have the right equipment, a quick Google search should help you find a more appropriate recipe.

Some kind of scale is also needed, whether it’s a kitchen scale or a personal scale in your bathroom. You’ll need some way to estimate about 5 pounds of apples. Sarah, the recipe’s author, says the apple butter will last one month in the fridge and six months in the freezer.

I changed the recipe just slightly, putting preference on brown sugar for its deeper molasses-ey notes, and also adding an extra 1/4 cup of it, since Alaska crab apples can be extremely tart. I would also personally add another teaspoon of cinnamon, since I enjoy it.

Ingredients:

5 pounds of crab apples, cored

3 cups water

1 3/4 cups brown sugar

2 lemons, juiced

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Instructions:

1. Quarter and core the apples.

2. Add apples, water, sugar and lemon juice into a slow cooker and cook on high for about two hours, when the apples start breaking down.

3. Blend up the sauce using a stand blender or an immersion blender. If using a stand blender, return the blended sauce back to the slow cooker.

4. Cook the sauce on high for another five to six hours, until the product is thick and golden brown. Add cinnamon and more sweetener to taste. Store in the fridge or freezer.


• By Victoria Petersen, For the Peninsula Clarion


More in Life

File
Minister’s Message: Are we seeing flowers or weeds?

In diffiult times, we need to watch what we watch

A plate of fried fish is photographed in this undated photo. Frying up cod or halibut in a beer batter is a delicious way to enjoy Alaska’s catch. (Courtesy Victoria Petersen)
Kalifornsky Kitchen: A secret ingredient for fried fish

Victoria Petersen serves up beer-battered halibut with a not-so-secret ingredient.

Photo from the Anchorage Museum of History and Art 
                                Dr. David Hassan Sleem stands on the front porch of his large Seward home in 1906.
The multitalented D.H. Sleem, Part two

Syrian-born David Hassan Sleem settled in Seward in 1903.

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: So sayeth the almanac 2020

Once again, the summer has rocketed by and we find ourselves on the precipice of the autumn equinox.

File
Minister’s Message: Being trustworthy in troubled times

Many people have forgotten that the source of our American values and virtues is the Bible.

The cast and crew of “Knife Skills” poses for a photo at Pier One Theatre during a recording session in August in Homer, Alaska. From left to right are Peter Sheppard, Theodore Castellani, Chloë Pleznac, Joshua Krohn (sitting, at sound board), Darrel Oliver, Helen-Thea Marcus and Ingrid Harrald. (Photo courtesy of Lindsey Schneider)
KBBI broadcasts new radio play on Friday

‘Knife Skills’ was written and directed by Homer playwright Lindsey Schneider

Squash from my neighborhood farmers market will be roasted into a sheet pan dinner, on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020 in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Kalifornsky Kitchen: Lazy fall days

Farmers markets keep your hard-earned dollars within your community.

Anchorage Museum of History and Art
                                Dr. David Hassan Sleem stands on the front porch of his large Seward home in 1906.
The multitalented D.H. Sleem, Part one

Most people, if they have heard of D.H. Sleem at all, know the name because of his Alaska maps.

The Bayside Buskers perform from noon-1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, at Land’s End Resort in Homer, Alaska, as part of the Alaska World Arts Festival. (Photo by Aaron Christ)
Alaska World Arts Festival returns

For 2020, most of the festival will be virtual — and sometimes live

Low-bush cranberries are gathered in Anchorage, Alaska, on Monday, Sept. 7, 2020. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
                                Low-bush cranberries are gathered in Anchorage, Alaska, on Monday, Sept. 7, 2020. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Kalifornsky Kitchen: Cranberry conundrum

I have enough cranberries to try multiple recipes. So I will.

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Our daily bread

Lately it has been baking bread.