To make homemade pickled crabapples, wash and remove the stems from 6 quarts of fresh crabapples. The recipe also uses cloves, brown sugar, white vinegar and a variety of spices.
Start with approximately 1 cup of whole cloves. Insert a few cloves into each of the crabapples. In a large pot, add 1/2 cup of water, 1 cup of distilled white vinegar and 3 pounds of brown sugar. Stir together until well-incorporated.
In a small cheesecloth, bundle 2 tablespoons of whole allspice berries, 6 cinnamon sticks and 1 tablespoon of grated lemon zest. Tie the bundle on one end to form a small bag around the spices, and add it to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the temperature and allow it to simmer for about five minutes. Next, add the crapapples to the pot, and continue simmering until they are tender, or about 20 minutes.
To can the cooked crabapples, remove them with a slotted spoon, and put them in sterile canning jars. Pour the remaining hot cooking liquid over them equally. Add water if the liquid is too thick. Seal the jars, and finalize in a hot water bath for about 10 minutes or until the center of the lids are sunken in.