Miniature apples, big sauce

There are a few apple trees on our block that are very peculiar – they grow tiny little apples, about an 3/4″ in diameter. I picked one off a tree as we were walking by the other day, and I was surprised at the strong tart flavor. It got me thinking that maybe they would be good for something. I considered pressing them for cider, but that seemed like a lot of work to get enough for any volume. Apple jelly perhaps?

We had some free time this afternoon, so I dragged the kids out to the sidewalk to help me. Which meant that Hannah kept relocating the bucket and Robbie kept climbing up the mini ladder right behind me. I managed to fill their beach bucket about 2/3 full of the tiny apples, and then we came home and decided to make apple sauce.

I cut the blossom end off each apple (supposing it might help them cook more readily) and then added a little bit of water to the pot. They cooked up in about 15 minutes, and then we ran them through the food mill. It was a surprisingly efficient process – the food mill removed the skin and cores, but most of the volume went through with the sauce.

It was super tart, so I added about a cup of sugar. The best part about it was the pretty pink color it came out. There is so much skin on all those little apples, that the red pigment dyes the final product a nice bright hue. Some for the fridge, some for the freezer, and I’ve got my eyes on those other trees of tiny apples.

Written by dan in: Food | Tags: , , , , , , , ,


  • Patricialynn

    Those sound like crab apple trees – I have five of them in my backyard. Very tart, but can taste great in some recipes.

    Comment | October 7, 2010
  • heyaHELP!

    Hi my nana has got a tree in her garden and there are these reddish purplish apples on it. They are the same red color in the whole inside. I can tell they’re apples because of the inside. We have looked everywhere and we just cant seem to find out what they are can anyone help. I have 2 questions, does anyone know what apple it is? and are they poisonous? because she would like to make a pie or sauce or something with them. HELP! get back as soon as possible.

    Comment | August 13, 2011
  • heyaHELP!

    Also, they’re very small and an oblong shape. The tree is tall and thin and splits like a v into different branches. Now the leaves are going red-purple from a green. Please help the tree is dying off again it returns every year.

    Comment | August 13, 2011
  • hi my name is cosmo. I too have miniature apples. These are smaller thn crab apples round and red. My mother died before I could find out about them. They are beautiful and stay red all winter long. the squirels and birds dine on them. I tasted one and it has the flavor of a sweet apple. Mom was into grafting and on part of the same tree is regular apples. Nobody knows what they are. Very interesting though.

    Comment | September 30, 2012
  • Nicole

    I spotted these cute little apples in a Park. Picked a couple to search the name of this apple tree. They are very small. At the most 1/2″ in diameter. It is the end of summer here in Ottawa, Canada. The fruit is bright red on one side & still green on the back side. Quite bitter. I suspect that a few more weeks it would be more mature & not so bitter.

    What could be the name of this variety of apple tree?

    Comment | August 31, 2013

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