There isn’t anything much more satisfying than harvesting your own fruit. The feeling of knowing you’ve grown something and being able to share it with your loved ones is what makes most foraging farmers like us tick!
When buying our cell grown saplings, whether it’s a gift for someone special or indeed for your own garden, planting them young makes for a greater established plant. Once established, you only have to wait a couple of years before they will start to produce flowers, and in turn, fruit!
Below we have offered up two of our favourite recipes. One for a delicious rowan and apple jelly and the other is a scrumptious elderberry jam.
Rowan & Apple Jelly
1.5kg rowan berries
1.5kg crab apples
White sugar – 450g for every 600ml of strained liquid
Juice of 1 lemon
Chop the apples (no need to peel or core) and place in a large, heavy saucepan with the rowan berries.
Cover the fruits with water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer until the fruits are soft and broken down, this takes about 20 minutes.
Using a muslin cloth or any clean, cotton cloth, lay over a large bowl.
(now for the tricky part) Tip the pulpy fruits and liquid into the cloth and gather the edges of the cloth up together.
Tie the cloths above the bowl, you can suspend from a chair on a table or a beam.
Allow the liquid to drip into the bowl for at least 4 hours, but ideally overnight. Remember not to squeeze the cloth or the jelly with be cloudy.
Measure the juice in a jug, the pour into a pan. For every 600ml of liquid, add 450g sugar. Add in the juice of the lemon and bring it to a boil.
Boil rapidly for about 10 minutes and then test. Spoon a little jelly onto a fridge-cold plate, let it sit for a minute, then push the blob with your finger. If the surface of the jelly wrinkles then it has set. If not, boil for a few more minutes then test again.
Once it’s reached it’s setting point take it off the heat and pour into clean, sterilised jars and seal.
400g Jam Sugar
1 tbsp of Lemon Juice
Remove the berries from their stems with a fork and wash thoroughly to remove any bits of leaf and stalk.
Place the elderberries in a heavy-based pan and gently crush with a potato masher, just enough to release some of the juices.
Add the sugar and lemon juice to the pan and leave to simmer on a low heat. Keep stirring to prevent the jam sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Cook down for around 20 minutes, skimming off and discarding any scum which has come to the surface.
To test if the jam is at the right consistency, remove the plate from the freezer, and place a small dollop of the jam on the plate. Put the plate in the fridge for a few minutes, if the jam forms a skin it is ready, if not, return to the heat and keep repeating the test every 5–10 minutes until ready.
Spoon the jam into sterilised jars and once fully cooled seal the jar and label with the date of production. The jam will keep in a cool dark place for 1 year, once opened keep in the fridge