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Transcendent crabapples are an inch and a half to two inches in diameter, and golden-yellow with a red blush. The fruits that are said to almost glow on the trees in the afternoon sun. The flesh of a Transcendent crabapple is a creamy-yellow, juicy, crisp, and tart with a slightly astringent taste. They are considered one of the more edible crabapple varieties.
Transcendent crabapples are available in the late summer and fall.
Transcendent crabapples are an American variety of Siberian crab apple, botanical name Malus baccata. They are easy to grow, appearing profusely on the small tree, and are preceded by snowy white perfumed flowers in the spring. The fruits remain on the branches of the tree well into winter, if they are not harvested.
Crabapples are small, but still have plenty of important nutrients, particularly in the skin. They contain Vitamin C, along with compounds such as flavanols and quercetin, which may help prevent diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. The pectin in crabapples is not just beneficial when making jelly—it also keeps the cardiovascular system healthy.
Transcendent crabapples are known to make excellent tasting jellies, without the need of any added pectin— the natural pectin present in Transcendent crabapples makes canning and preserving easier. They are best used for making jellies and jams or baking into pies and tarts. They can also be eaten fresh, although they are much more astringent than domestic apples. When cooking, add a few to pork or duck dishes, or combine with sweet apples in applesauce. Crabapples have also traditionally been used to make cider. Transcendent crabapples do not store well and will keep only for about two weeks, if refrigerated.
Crabapples are not just for eating, and in fact have been more popular for culinary uses in the past than currently. Today crabapple trees are often planted for aesthetic reasons or to provide winter food for wildlife such as deer and birds, and to support pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
First mentioned in 1844, these were some of the most popular crabapples in America for some time. Crabapples in general are very cold-tolerant. Transcendents can grow almost anywhere in the United States, from the north to the southeast.