Following on from our article last week about using the blackberries that have ripened in our hedgerows in abundance, this week we're moving on to the next crops to tickle our tastebuds!
First of all rosehips....and no, the syrup is not just for babies! One of my favourites is Rose Hip Chutney...
So what do rose hips look like?
1lb/450g rose hips, top, tailed and seeds removed
1lb/450g cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
seeds from 3 or 4 cardamon pods, crushed
a shake of chilli sauce
1 lg clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 lb/225g soft brown sugar
Juice of a lemon and grated zest of half a lemon
Soak the rosehips, sultanas and apples in vinegar overnight.
The next day put all the ingredients in a large, heavy saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thickened. You should be able to draw a spoon through the mixture and clearly see the base of the pan for a second before the chutney covers it again.
Warm clean glass jars in the oven or put them through a wash in the dishwasher, then pot the chutney into the hot jars. Cover with plastic-lined lids, glass lids or waxed paper circles and cellophane.
Store for a month before using.
Hedgerows and woodland edges are brimming with ripe berries and fruits in September and October.
In fact, you can forage every ingredient here except the sugar!
225g haws (hawthorn berries)
225g rowan berries
225g rose hips
450g crab apples
115g chopped hazelnuts
900g sugar, plus extra equivalent to weight of fruit pulp
Carefully wash the fruit.
Place the haws, sloes, rowan berries, rosehips and crab apples in a preserving pan (or large casserole or stock pot if you don't have a preserving pan) and add enough water to cover them.
Cook until all the fruit is tender. This should take about an hour.
Pass the fruit through a sieve, and weigh the resulting pulp. Wash the preserving pan then return the pulp to the pan along with the blackberries, elderberries and chopped hazelnuts.
Simmer for about 15 minutes.
Add the 900g sugar, plus extra sugar equivalent to the weight of the fruit pulp from step 3.
Place on a low heat until all the sugar has dissolved, then bring to a rapid boil until the setting point is reached, skimming off any scum that forms.
Pour into sterilised jars, seal up and add a fetching label!