Along the Grapevine

Rhubarb Crabapple Ketchup



I have been making rhubarb ketchup this summer using a recipe from The Moose Curry Experience. I love this recipe because the ingredients are simple and available, and it has that robust, tart flavour you cannot find in commercial brands, if commercial rhubarb ketchup were available that is.

I decided to make a few changes to this recipe in order to use more of my garden produce, so I combined lovely red crabapples with the rhubarb. You can see that even the insides of the cut apple is red.


Once I started with red, balsamic vinegar seemed appropriate both for the colour and flavour. The result was every bit as good as expected. I will probably alternate these recipes from now on. After all, you can’t have too many good rhubarb ketchup recipes.

Rhubarb Crabapple Ketchup


2 lbs rhubarb, chopped

1 1/2 lbs red crabapples

1 cup brown sugar

1 3/4 cup water

1 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 cloves of garlic

1 tsp red chili pepper

sachet of spices, including 1 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp star anise, 1 cinnamon stick


Place all ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer until the apples are very soft – about 1/2 hour. Strain through a food mill. If the mixture is too thin, return to the pan and cook down to the desired consistency. If too thick, add a little water and/or vinegar to taste.



Linked to Fiesta Friday #83


Author: Hilda

I am a backyard forager who likes to share recipes using the wild edibles of our area.

26 thoughts on “Rhubarb Crabapple Ketchup

  1. Very interesting Hilda! I love rhubarb in any form. Nthis would be a new way to extend its short lived season.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes very interesting indeed Hilda!! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hilda, what an interesting idea and recipe. I can just imagine how yummy this ketchup must be!


  4. Very timely. I was just wondering what else to do with masses of crab apples other than crab apple jelly. You use a food mill – is that one of those mechanical turning round gadgets or could I use a magimix food processor. Obviously wouldn’t use it in jelly making .


    • Hi Elizabeth. I’m glad you found my recipe useful. Yes, I used a food mill since I cooked the crabapples whole and had to strain out the seeds and stems etc. A good sieve might work just as well, but I have a couple of food mills I use. One is a French one I used to use for making baby food, but the one I prefer is like the one pictured in my post on nannyberry sauce posted on Sept. 26 of last year. It is probably my most-used kitchen appliance.


  5. Love this Hilda – all my favourite ingredients.


  6. Hilda you always come up with the most interesting recipes! This ketchup seems like my kind of ketchup! I would love to try this although I don’t know where I can get crab apples from.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is awesome, Hilda! I am always looking for rhubarb recipes and I love ketchups, so this recipe is just an all round winner for me! Bookmarking for the new kitchen for sure! Hope you are well! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  8. How unusually beautiful Hilda! Love how you used rhubarb and crabapples in this ketchup.


  9. My crabapples actually have fruits this year, so exciting! I’m going to see if they’ll get any bigger before harvesting, then I’ll come back to your blog and peruse. You have so many wonderful recipes and helpful tips using these unusual ingredients. The ketchup sounds so delicious!


  10. Wow! This looks so interesting, Hilda. I only know tomato and banana ketchup. πŸ˜€ Thank you for introducing this to me/us. Happy FF and glad you made it to FF! Have a fun day! xx


  11. I make a hawthorne ketchup and, although I don’t have rhubarb, I have japanese knotweed in the freezer which has a similar tang and I often use in rhubarb recipes. The hawthorne should be ready to pick soon… hmmm…


    • That sounds like an idea. I love the idea of a recipe of mine being an inspiration for something else a little different. Let me know how it goes if you make it. I have some knotweed I like to use, but it usually get mowed down before I get a chance to pick it.


  12. Pingback: Green Tomato Ketchup | Along the Grapevine

  13. Pingback: Rhubarb Chutney | Along the Grapevine

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