Foraginglondon's Blog

For all your foraging needs in London

Elderberry Ketchup recipe 21/10/2012

I haven’t been the best at posting my various food foraging experiences, and apologise for that. Shira & I picked over 5 kilos of elderberries several weeks ago in and around the Hatfield Business Park area, as well as closer to home, which is now Brickendon (our home for about a year now), and now alas London. Please note that all of the recipes and experiences I post about can be found in London as well, so it’s relevance is not lost for you Londoners. My main learning point has been that Brickendon is higher up than London as well as being in the countryside, and this does make a significant difference to the seasons of weeks.

Having picked the elderberries I proceeded to make elderberry syrup which is well documented on the internet. Elderberry Ketchup is less so, though some seem to think that Pontac (various spellings) sauce is one in the same thing. I made Pontac sauce last year and left it very liquidy as a viable alternative to worcestershire sauce. Pontac sauce is a more fruity experience and supposed to improve with age (some talk about 7 years before it’s pinnacle is reached). This post’s main aim is not to debate or conclude this point, but to focus on the experience of making Elderberry Ketchup.

Learning point number 2 is that I made this ketchup two years ago, and the same friend who devours my Sloe Gin annually has an equal appreciation and appetite for the ketchup. The problem is that I didn’t write down the method last time and I haven’t been able to work out which recipe I used.

There seems to be a few recipes, and I’ve linked them below for convenience:

Elderberry Catsup Recipe from Britain

Simply Cookit Elderberry Ketchup

Prince of Wales Ketchup

I have used Wild Edible Texas verison

Below is the recipe and method from the website with my photos and comments

  • 4 c elderberries
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ c distilled white vinegar
  • ½ c sugar
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. salt
Wash the elderberries and remove the stems. Heat onion and vinegar in a saucepan until boiling, then simmer for 15-25 minutes or until the onions are tender.
I used malt vinegar as that’s what I had available.
Remove from heat and add the berries. Let the mixture steep for 15 minutes. Mash the berry mixture gently with a potato masher. Press through a sieve. (note: A cone ricer or cone sieve works really well when attempting to extract fruit pulp.)

I used this mouli to pass the vinegar, onion and elderberries through

I used the smallest blade, and whilst it prevented the elderberry pips getting through I’m not sure if I managed to get any pulp through, which left me with a pure liquid, and think my previous attempt two years ago had more ‘body.’ Therefore if I made it again I might use a sieve as the next setting up will probably allow the pips through.
Put fruit pulp back into a clean saucepan and add sugar and other spices. Simmer until it thickens, stirring constantly so that it doesn’t stick to the pot.

Once the spices and sugar was added I needed to stir it so it mixed together.

It takes a significant period of time for the liquid to reduce down so you get a ketchup type consistency. Be careful when doing this as you can easily burn a pan (previous experience).
Serve fresh or fill sterilized jars, place caps on the jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
 

Medlar, apple & pear chutney 18/11/2010

Filed under: apple,foraging,garlic,garlic,ginger,medlar,salt,vinegar — foraginglondon @ 13:21

Afternoon folks,

I made the medlar and apple jelly yesterday, as you could see from my previous post. SLight mistake my end and the jelly didn’t set, which means re-boiling, re-testing, sterilising the jars again and re-jarring. A huge pain in the backside and harsh lesson in the process.

Anyway, today is about using the medlar and apple pulp to make medlar, apple and pear chutney. I am using this process from the one described by hugh fearnley-whittingstall of River Cottage fame. What I really like is the fact that you can use the main ingredients twice. The pulp was used to make the jelly, the flavour and juice removed and is now making another flavour packed product.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 tbsp sunflower oil (I used rapeseed oil)
  • 4 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 bulb of garlic, peeled and grated
  • 5-7cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 6 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2kg Bramley apples, cored and chopped (I used some pears as only had 1.25 kg of bramley apples)
  • 500g dark Muscovado sugar
  • 500ml cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • The left over pulp from the medlar jelly, or about 700g pears, peeled, cored and chopped

Method:

1. Warm the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat and add the spices, stirring well and frying until the mustard seeds just begin to pop. This will only take a minute or so – be careful not to scorch the spices. Add the garlic, ginger and chillies, stir well, and fry gently for few minutes.

2. Tip the chopped apples into a large preserving pan and pour over the spices.

3. Add the sugar, vinegar and salt, along with the left over pulp from the medlar jelly, or the pears if you are using them instead.

medlar pulp with everything else

medlar pulp with everything else

4. Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves, then simmer for about 2 hours until thickened, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if you think it’s beginning to look too thick.

5. Bottle in warm, sterilised jars, filling the jars really full as the mixture will shrink slightly as it cools. Seal with vinegar-proof lids.


 

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

 

 

 
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