Monday, 27 September 2010

Crab apple liqueur

Mr Portions and I are determined to become more skilled in the art of foraging. It’s amazing how many fruits and berries around you in everyday life are edible. There may be no such thing as a free lunch but there are definitely free crab apples – easily identifiable as they are tiny apples.

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 will mellow over time!


Time to make, from start to potable: 2 months

Yield: approx 3 cups/750ml

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