I collected these delicious wild berries, which I used to make jam from. The berries are called Malus hupehensis – (Pamp.) Rehder.
WARNING: The seeds (and possibly also the leaves) of the fruit contains the toxin “hydrogen cyanide”. This toxin can only be consumed in very small quantities (e.g. it is present in almonds in small amounts), since it can cause respiratory failure. (https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Malus+hupehensis)
I haven’t been able to find any data on the actual amount of toxin in each fruit. But it is said to be edible if cooked (https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Malus+hupehensis). The leaves can also be used in tea.
This is the reason why I don’t blend the fruit and instead cook them whole.
I’ve eaten some of the jam on top of bread and I didn’t feel a thing.
The jam is sweet with a slightly bitter after taste. And I would think that it is very good on top of meat or as a sweetener in a stew.
Chinese Crab Apples Jam
- 1 kg Chinese crab apples
- 600 g sugar
- 5 dl water
- 40 g agar agar about 8 tsp
- Rinse the Chinese crab apples
- Mix the Chinese crab apples, sugar, and water in a saucepan and let it cook for 45 min with a lit on at medium heat till the berries are tender
- Strain the jam through a strainer, don't try to squeeze the berries through it – this will result in a very bitter jam. You should end up with about 1.5 dl of liquid
- Put the jam back in the saucepan and whisk the agar agar in
- Cook at high temperature till the jam starts to thicken
- Pour the jam into a jar and close it immediately
- Let it cool before use