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Publication #FCS8275

Selecting, Preparing, and Canning: Spiced Crab Apples1

United States Department Of Agriculture, Extension Service2

Spiced Crab Apples

5 lbs crab apples
4-1/2 cups apple vinegar (5%)
3-3/4 cups water
7-1/2 cups sugar
4 tsp whole cloves
4 sticks cinnamon
Six 1/2-inch cubes of fresh ginger root

Yield: About 9 pints

Procedure: Remove blossom petals and wash apples, but leave stems attached. Puncture the skin of each apple four times with an ice pick or toothpick. Mix vinegar, water, and sugar and bring to a boil. Add spices tied in a spice bag or cheesecloth. Using a blancher basket or sieve, immerse 1/3 of the apples at a time in the boiling vinegar/syrup solution for 2 minutes. Place cooked apples and spice bag in a clean 1- or 2-gallon crock and add hot syrup. Cover and let stand overnight. Remove spice bag, drain syrup into a large saucepan, and reheat to boiling. Fill pint jars with apples and hot syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process according to the recommendations in Table 1.


Table 1. 

Recommended process time for Spiced Crab Apples in a boiling-water canner.


Process Time at Altitudes of

Style of Pack

Jar Size

0 - 1,000 ft

1,001 - 3,000 ft

3,001 - 6,000 ft

Above 6,000 ft



20 min




*After the process is complete, turn off the heat and remove the canner lid. Wait five minutes before removing jars



This document is FCS 8275, a series of the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, FUF/IFAS Extension. Publication date: May 2003. Reviewed: February 2014. This document was extracted from the Complete Guide to Home Canning, Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA. It was originally published on CD-ROM as part of HE 8148, Guide 2: Selecting, Preparing, and Canning Fruit and Fruit Products. Please visit the EDIS website at


Reviewed for use in Florida by Amy Simonne, assistant professor, Food Safety and Quality, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.