Recipes that showcase our local crabapples and Asian pears!

We would like to thank one of our Winter 2022 University of Washington interns, Hongze Deng, for researching fruit-based recipes to share with the fruit enthusiasts in our community!

It is a real treat that so many different kinds of fruits can grow here in Seattle’s temperate climate!  We enjoy a range of pome fruits like apples, pears, and quince, in addition to a range of stone fruits including plums, peaches, cherries, and nectarines!  As we approach this summer’s harvest season, City Fruit would like to share a few recipes that honor two fruits in particular: the crabapple and the Asian pear. 

It is not uncommon to spot a crabapple tree laden with fruit, growing in the sidewalk strips of residential neighborhoods.  With their bright red fruits the size of a cork, crabapple trees are a cheery sight amidst bright blue summer sky.

If you’ve ever bitten into a raw crabapple before, you’ll remember just how tart they can be!  It is this tart flavor, paired with its texture, that can make crabapples challenging to cook with.  Furthermore, because they are not as widely used as some other fruits, they are not regularly accepted by food banks in their raw form.  However, worry not!  There are recipes that utilize the fruit in baked deserts such as crabapple bread and crabapple pie!  Crabapple can also be cooked down into jellies, which is something City Fruit is hoping to explore more this summer under a USDA food preserving grant!

The second fruit we’d like to honor is the Asian pear.  In 2021, we harvested roughly 2,344 pounds of Asian pears, making it the third most harvested fruit behind plums and apples.  However, with the increased presence of codling moth affecting our urban apple and pear trees, we noticed many of the Asian pears we harvested last year had the characteristic boring holes of the codling moth larvae.  

In response, City Fruit started to look for diversion partners and community members that could use the buggy fruit in products such as baked goods, dried fruit snacks and leathers, and more.  One of our University of Washington interns, Hongze, also started to look into fruit-based recipes that utilized Seattle fruits and also celebrated different cultural uses of the fruit.  We invite you to check out some of the Asian pear recipes that Hongze compiled, including a recipe for bulgogi from the New York Times, a recipe for Asian pear breakfast muffins, and a recipe for Chinese snow pear soup with rock sugar tremella.  Enjoy!

Interested in cooking with gleaned fruit from Seattle’s urban orchards? We invite you to sign up for our Baker’s Club Listserv and whenever we have excess fruit during the harvest season, you’ll receive an email with an invitation to pick some up from our office (while supplies last).  We are also seeking recipes to expand the kinds of culturally-relevant fruit-based products we can make and share with the community.  To share a recipe or sign up for our listserv, please email


Or, not a baker but interested in trying some desserts made with local fruit?  City Fruit is once again partnering with the wonderful Bee and the Baker, a Ravenna based bakery dedicated to sustainable and locally sourced ingredients. Click here to check out their Memorial Day pre-order sale for mini fruit tarts!