Foraginglondon's Blog

For all your foraging needs in London

Apple and Tomato Chutney 27/10/2010

I liked this recipe because you don’t need to peel, core and chop the apples. Having done it for some many recipes it made a change. It also worked well with the reduced tomatoes from Tesco. Again thanks to Gillian Painter for the recipe.


  • 1 kilo apples
  • 1 kilo tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 kilo onions
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 cup seeded raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 3 cups vinegar


Prepare and stew apples in a very small quantity of water till tender. I took this to mean just chop the apples and throw in the pot with a cup of water. My only problem with this was trying to ensure the resultant stewed apples didn’t burn the bottom of the pan, therefore I suggest not putting it on too high a heat.

Skin tomatoes ( in boiling water). I put the tomatoes into a bowl, covered them with boiled water, let them stand for a few minutes, made a slight incision with a knife and was able to peel them. I guess you can google and find videos that show how this is done.

Once skinned chop them up with the onions and garlic. Add all of this and the remaining ingredients to the apple and cook gently for about 2 hours. Please note that you should add one cup of vinegar at a time. I found that two cups was about enough, but again will depend on your taste buds. Keep tasting and add the spices in small quantities, as in my experience I added too much cayenne pepper and it over-powered the other flavours.

When the chutney is thick enough, pour into jars and seal when cold. I felt this should be when the mixture comes off the spoon slowly. Too slow and hard to spread, too liquidy and it means the vinegar hasn’t been absorbed, or you added too much water earlier on.

Apple and tomato chutney



Apple and Sage Butter 23/10/2010

Filed under: apple,foraging,london,sage — foraginglondon @ 19:46

Here is something a little different to do with your apples. Get yourself up to Hampstead Heath, and in particular the Pergola. Here you will find a plethora of common herbs, such as rosemary, oregano, marjoram, but in this case Sage. There’s loads of it, enough to go round our little circle of readers.

Again this is a recipe taken from ‘The Home Orchard Cookery Book‘ by Gillian Painter.

Apple and Sage jam

Apple and Sage jam


2 kg apples

1 chopped onion

1/2 cup water

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon pepper

4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage or 3 tablespoons of dried sage

1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons vinegar

50 grams butter


Chopped apples into quarters and cook with onion and water in a covered pan till soft. Sieve the mixture and return the puree to the pan and cook till thick. Add all other ingredients and continue to cook, stirring often till no free liquid remains. Pour into jars and seal when cold.


Apple and Mint Jam 21/10/2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — foraginglondon @ 11:25

Once I again I am faced with a glut of apples, this time they have come from my secret (though public) orchard in North West London. I prefer to keep it that way until I’ve spoken to the conservation group about how they want to manage it going forwards. I took the liberty of going in there and picking the fruit as most of the apples had already fallen on the ground.

My glut of apples from the secret orchard

Again using the ‘Home Orchard Cookery Book’ by Gillian Painter I found an apple and mint jam that would make good use of some tart apples, and the mint in my parents garden.


1 kg tart apples

3 cups water

3/4 kg sugar

bunch of mint

1/2 cup chopped mint


Slice the apples and simmer in the water until tender. Rub the pulp through a sieve and return to the pan with the sugar and a large bunch of mint. Bring to the boil and boil fat till the jam sets when tested. A few minutes before the jam is ready remove the bunch of mint and add 1/2 cup of finely chopped mint and boil again. Pour into jars and cover when cold.

Boiling apple pulp with bunch of mint

Boiling apple pulp with bunch of mint

3 jars of apple and mint jam

Recipe makes 3 jars of apple and mint jam

3 1/2 jars of apple and mint jam

3 1/2 jars of apple and mint jam

My final note on this recipe is that these tart apples set very quickly. Having had problems getting the pears to set this lot set very quickly, so do not leave the pan and test after 5-10 minutes at most.


Pear Marmalade

Filed under: foraging,london — foraginglondon @ 10:44

I decided to make Pear Marmalade after getting a glut of pears I helped pick as part of ‘Local Fruit Harvesters.’ If you want to help pick fruit in the Willesden/Kilburn (as well as other areas) then contact Michael Stuart.

So what to do with several kilos of pears. My girlfriend got a book off a friend, which has many traditional fruit recipes in it. It is called ‘The Home Orchard Cookery Book‘ by Gillian Painter. I strongly recommend it, as it has loads of recipes for apples, pears and even a few for crab apples, the little red things on the trees in many London streets, that do not get picked, but fall onto the street below, get mushed into the pavement and create an unsightly mess that only the pigeons seem to enjoy.

I decided to make Pear Marmalade using the following recipe:


3 kg pears

4 oranges

1 lemon

3 c water

3 kg sugar


Peel oranges and lemon finely and soak peel overnight in water. Peel pears and cut up finely, add orange and lemon pulp and juice, sprinkle with sugar and leave overnight. Next day put it all in a pan, bring to the boil and simmer till pears are soft and yellow and mixture sets on a saucer. Below are some photos from this recipe

Pear Marmalade

Pear Marmalade coming to the boil

The pear marmalade finally jarred

Pear Marmalade jarred

Please be aware of the following: Pears are low in pectin. Pectin is mainly contained in the peel and core of fruit, and is what binds them together. Pears are low in this, and as I found it does not set. I stupidly tried to jar 13 of them before realising. What I did was boil up some crab apples to make some pectin, and also added some jam sugar, though think this is what burned to the bottom of the pan. I suggest adding either jam sugar (more expensive than regular sugar, but easily available in supermarkets) or make some homemade pectin from the many un-used crab apples in London.


My granddad is halfway through his first year and has given the thumbs up. He is veteren of decades too many to mention so if he likes it then I reckon you will too.


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