I have been laying down the stocks of wild autumn fruits , the fruits of a little foraging, some of my tips for a little feminine foraging Foraging for wild fruits is fun if a little injurous , why do the tastiest fruits have the spikiest thorns?
- Rosehip Syrup
- Damson Cheese
- Sloe Gin
- Blackberry Vinegar
Rosehips who can resist beautiful bright red globes that beg to be used , high in vitamin C, just make sure you remove the potentially irritating seeds in any recipe . Rosehip syrup is a sweet sour recipe perfect for sweet foods on baked apple or from glazing meats like pork or lamb.
Rosehip Syrup Recipe
400g of rosehips
1 pint of water
100g of sugar
- Simmer the rosehips in the water for 15 minutes, mash and return to a simmer for a further 15 minutes
- Strain through muslin to remove the fruit pulp
- Stir in the sugar and warm over a gentle heat
- Pour into sterilised jars
Damsons, there were foraged but not by me, I found a large box of these at the market , they don’t seem to grow round here or maybe I haven’t found a good spot yet. Golf Ball sized beautiful purple skin and pale flesh but when cooked they release a striking purple juice.
I was thinking jam, but I am not that into sweet things on toast Damson cheese is thicker and slightly sour so it goes perfectly with cheese and colds meats , I made a lot since it freezes well.
1kg of damsons
100ml of water
White granulated sugar (200g to each 200ml of damson puree)
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- Wash the fruit
- Bring the damsons & water to a gentle simmer and cook very until all fruit is soft and falling of the stones.
- When fruit is very soft, remove from the heat and cool before straining and pressing through a medium sieve. Discard the stones.Pour fruit into a measuring jug and return to the cleaned pan with the sugar and lemon juice.
- Stir over a gentle heat stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Bring to the boil and continue to boil briskly. Stir constantly, to stop the sugar burning on the base of the saucepan.
- Ladle into warm sterilised jars and seal once cool.
Sloe too are beautiful purple globes I make sloe gin every , its strikingly easy and a lovely warming treat for winter but ideally should be laid down for at least a year.
Sloe Gin Recipe
100g caster sugar
2 pint gin
1. Prick the tough skin of the sloes all over with a clean needle ( or freeze overnight and hit with a rolling pin ) . Place in a sealable bottle or sterilized jar.
2. Pour in the sugar and the gin, seal and shake well.
3. Store in a cool, dark cupboard and shake every other day for a week,
4. Leave for at least three months it should be dark purple and ready to drink.
Blackberries can be used in the same way to make a gin or vodka but can also be used to make fruit vinegar which I love to add to beef or lamb stews , it is also especially good on beetroot and goats cheese salads. Fruitier than balsamic vinegar, you can use the same methods with raspberries or strawberries
500g grams blackberries
4 tbsp sugar
500 ml white wine vinegar
1. Place the berries in the vinegar leave to soak for one week
2. Add the sugar Bring to a gentle simmer for one minute
3. Pour the mixture through a fine strainer to remove the berries’ flesh and seeds.
4. Put the strained vinegar into bottles