Foraginglondon's Blog

For all your foraging needs in London

Rosehip liqueur 26/11/2010

Filed under: cinamon stick,cloves,foraging,lemon,rosehip,sugar — foraginglondon @ 12:17
Tags: , , , , ,

I was wondering what to blog about next. Well last Friday I went foraging at the Welsh Harp in NW London, next to Brent Cross Shopping Centre. This is a beautiful tranquil place in the middle of suburbia, and a welcome change to the shopping next door. Anyway I digress. I went to pick rosehips, which I had seen in abundance when I went the previous week to pick hawthorns for the haw biscuits. I started picking from the various bushes by the main road and gradually worked my way along the path. First tip, rosehips come from bushes and have thorns. An obvious observation, but one I did not heed. The cuts and scratches have now faded, but recommend wearing gloves in future. I also tried cutting them with scissors, which might be an option though getting to some of them was a pain.

I was walking along the path, when I saw someone else picking rosehips. I thought this was someone I had gone foraging with at the Welsh Harp before, but on closer inspection it wasn’t. By this time my starring had aroused curiosity and I entered into conversation. Low and behold it was a lovely lady called Bo (Bozenna) who had driven over from Islington especially to pick rosehips for her homemade rosehip liqueur. Well, I couldn’t let this year go by without trying another alcoholic recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilogram rose hips
  • 300 grams brown sugar
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • Shredded lemon peel (from 1/2 lemon)
  • 1,5 liter brandy

Method:

Wash and clean rose hips, mix them with sugar and let them stand in cold place over night.

sugar covered rosehips

sugar covered rosehips

Next day, pour brandy over rose hips and sugar, and add cinnamon, cloves and shredded lemon peel in it. Cover the dish with rose hip liqueur in it and let it stand 2 weeks in light place.

rosehip liqueur ingredients

Rosehip liqueur ready to marinate

Rosehip liqueur ready to marinate

rosehip liqueur ingredients

Strain the liqueur, pour it in the liqueur bottles and let it stand 4 weeks more before you serve it.



Advertisements
 

Medlar and Apple Jelly 17/11/2010

Filed under: apple,foraging,medlar,sugar — foraginglondon @ 14:51

I’ve nearly finished the Haw biscuits. Hope you managed to grab a few whilst they are still on the trees. I went to the Islington Farmers Market over the weekend and picked up some medlars. I had been on the lookout for them during the autumn period, but there doesn’t seem to be any growing around my way. So, there they were a few punnets of brownish apple/rose looking things. I decided to buy a couple and see what can be done with them.

Medlars are actually part of the rose family and not native to the UK. They do not ripen and require bletting. I suggest looking up Medlars to understand more about them.

Medlar

Medlar

The first recipe I found was for Medlar & Apple jelly, and the pulp from this can then be made into medlar & apple chutney.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg medlars (quartered but not peeled)
  • 500g Bramley cooking apples
  • About 650g granulated sugar

Method:

1. Quarter the medlars. Peel and chop the apples and tip the fruit into a preserving pan, or any heavy-bottomed, deep, wide pan, with just enough water to cover.

chopped medlars and apples

chopped medlars and apples

2. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30-45 minutes, until the medlars are soft and pulpy.

3. Strain through a jelly bag on a stand set over a large bowl. Don’t be tempted to poke, squeeze or force the pulp through the bag or you’ll get a cloudy jelly, just leave it to drip over the bowl for several hours or overnight. Don’t discard the pulp though – it’s perfect for adding to ourchutney.

4. Measure the juice, pour into a clean preserving pan and bring to boiling point before adding the sugar (for every 1l of juice, add 650g of sugar). Stir, in one direction only to reduce foam, until sugar is totally dissolved then boil rapidly for 8 minutes or until the setting point is reached.

Boiling medlar jelly

Boiling medlar jelly

If you have a preserving thermometer, it should read 104.5°C; if you don’t have a thermometer, drop a little jelly onto a saucer which you have chilled in the fridge. Let the jelly cool for a minute then push it gently with your finger. If it crinkles, it has reached its setting point. Remove from the heat and skim off any scum using a slotted spoon.

Testing the setting point

Testing the setting point

5. Decant carefully into a warm jug and pour into warm, sterilised jars.

Jarred medlar jelly

Jarred medlar jelly


 

Apple and Ginger Jam 05/11/2010

Filed under: apple,foraging,ginger,sugar — foraginglondon @ 10:24

Here is a fantastic recipe for using up a glut of apples, and making something that has a little bit of a kick in it for your breakfast toast.

glut of apples

glut of apples

I was hesitant at first, but since trying this jam this week I am converted.

Ingredients:

  • 3 kilos apples
  • 3 kilos sugar
  • 100g crystalised ginger (available in larger supermarkets)

Method:

  • Peel and core apples.
  • Cover skins and cores with water and boil to a pulp.
  • Strain through a jelly bag.
  • Return this liquid to the pan and add sugar.
  • Stir till dissolved and add chopped apples and ginger and boil till sets – about 1 hour

A few pointers from my experience of making this.

  1. The reason for boiling up the cores and skins is that they contain the majority of the pectin. Pectin is what holds together fruit, and what will ensure your jam sets, rather than remaining a liquid. Some fruits are high in this and others not. Apples have plenty, but pears as I found out the hard way do not. Hence my pear marmalade did not set, and I had to re-boil with added pectin and lemon juice. Maybe this should be the subject of another blog as I learn’t plenty about this fairly dull liquid.
  2. You can replace the jelly bag with muslin, but the jelly bag will ensure the liquid is clear and no bits of peel get through into the jam.
  3. I found that it took quite some time boiling the mixture before getting to the setting point, so leave plenty of time or use recommended jam making equipment rather than regular pots and pans.
  4. I was also scared that the ginger flavour would not come through. I ended up adding more ginger (nearer 200g, which is what it is sold as) to the mixture. I recommend you taste the mixture and decide exactly how much ginger to add.
  5. Finally my mixture went a dark red, which is contrary to the green of the apple and the yellow of the ginger. I assume this is the sugar, but could be wrong.

Many thanks to Gillian Painter for the recipe

Enjoy making!

 

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

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

 

 

 
%d bloggers like this: