Kerr (crab)

Why you should be excited

Kerr is a Canadian-bred crab-apple that’s good at many things, including surviving a prairie winter.

The story of Kerr

There was a time when virtually the only members of the apple family that could survive a Manitoba winter – save perhaps a few obscure Russian varieties – were crab-apples.

These little guys were indigenous to North America, so could take a punishing winter.

And folks living in such places appreciated them. So much so that even when a few hardier varieties of regular apples came along, interest in crabs was sustained.

Which is how Kerr arrived on the scene, as it was bred using the old-time  Dolgo crab as one parent and the Minnesota-bred regular apple Haralson as the other.

And by all accounts, Kerr is a very nice – and versatile - result.

Kerr Facts

Its origins:

Bred in Morden, Manitoba, Canada; 1952 introduction.

Flavour, aroma, texture

This crab-apple works well for jelly, juice, baking and even for fresh eating, as it is firm, crisp and juicy, with a very good sweet-tart flavour.


A little dark purple-red crab-apple five to seven centimeters in diameter.

When they’re available

Mid-season (usually in early October).

Quality for fresh eating


Quality for cooking

Very good.

Quality for cider

Works very well in cider blends, contributing lots of acid as well as some astringency.

Keeping ability

Excellent (up to 6 months when kept refrigerated).