In the name of research we each took a bite. I gagged more than Mr Portions as they are sour and I have a sweet tooth. The liqueur would definitely need sugar! We picked the crab apples before they got a red blush from the sun – we were looking to make a tart liqueur.
Here’s what you need:
4 cups of crab apples
4 cups caster sugar (I know this sounds a lot but crab apples are mighty bitter!)
2 ½ cups vodka (we used Smirnoff Blue)
½ cup Polish pure spirit
NB. If you don’t wish to use Polish pure spirit, simply replace it with extra vodka.
Wash, chop and core the crab apples. This is a bit of a faff as they are small and hard but it’s worth it so share the task and make witty conversation to pass the time.
Place the prepared crab apples in a kilner jar.
Add the sugar and close the lid. Shake.
Add the vodka and Polish pure spirit and close the lid. Shake.
Leave in a quiet spot, at room temperature for 4 weeks and shake occasionally to ensure the sugar mixes in with the crab apples and vodka.
When the month is up strain the mixture using a fine sieve or straining bag. Then move on to a more refined filter either lining a sieve with a butter muslin or a coffee filter (but this can get clogged requiring frequent changing of the paper). Here’s what crab apples look like after they’ve been in a jar with vodka and sugar for a month:
Bottle your liqueur and age for a further month. It was a touch “punchy” after a month but some people liked that – if you don’t, leave if another couple of weeks and try again...it will mellow over time!
Time to make, from start to potable: 2 months
Yield: approx 3 cups/750ml