Elderberry Syrup

September 22, 2009

Elderberry Syrup

  • Ripe elderberries
  • Sugar

Pick the fruit on a dry day, wash well and drain thoroughly. Strip the fruit from the stems and put into a pan, adding just enough water to cover. Simmer for 30 minutes until the berries are very soft. Strain through a jelly bag or muslin and measure the juice. Allow 450g (1lb) sugar and 10 cloves to each 6dl (1 pint) of juice. Heat the juice gently, stirring in the sugar until dissolved. Boil for 10 minutes and then leave until cold. The syrup may be frozen in small quantities or packed into small, screw-topped, soft drink bottles which have been sterilized.

Elderberry syrups of this kind have been used since Tudor times as a stand-by against winter colds. The syrup is a cold aperient, relieves all chest troubles, will stop a cold and bring on a sweat. It is normally diluted, allowing 2 tablespoons of syrup to a tumbler of hot water and a squeeze of lemon juice. A little whisky may be added if liked. A few drops added to a glass of wine makes an excellent aperitif.



Rosehip Syrup

September 22, 2009

Rosehip Syrup

Ingredients: 250g rosehips, 600ml boiling water, 50g honey or sugar
Equipment: Mezaluna, chopping board, pan, sieve, funnel, wooden spoon, sterilised bottle

Sieve the rosehips well to remove the tiny hairs on the seeds, which can cause irritation to sensitive stomachs.

Chop the rosehips with the mezaluna. Put them in a pan with 400ml of boiling water. Bring the mixture back to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the rosehips through the sieve, making sure you save the rosehip water (which is called a decoction). Return the rosehip pulp to the pan with 200 ml of boiling water. Simmer for 20 minutes, to make another decoction. Add the decoctions together with the honey or sugar and stir until dissolved. Boil for 15 minutes. Pour through the funnel into the sterilised bottle.


Rowanberry and Apple Jam

September 17, 2009

Rowan berries are very flavoursome and make excellent jams. However, make certain that you pick ripe rowan berries and only select plump ones, as these will have fruity sweetness as well as rowan bitterness. Fruit that are only bitter are no good for jam making.

250g rowan berries
250g apple, cut into chunks
250g sugar
water to cover

Pick over the rowan berries, remove any stalks then wash and add to a pan along with the apples and just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer then allow to cook gently for about 30 minutes, or until the rowan berries are soft.

Take from the heat and pour into a sieve held over a bowl. Press the pulp through the sieve with the back of a spoon (the rowan skins and seeds will be left behind). Transfer the fruit purée into a clean pan. Add the sugar and about 40 ml water and bring to a boil.

Cook for about 30 minutes then test for the setting point by spooning a little of the jam onto a plate that has been chilled in the fridge. If the jam forms a skin when you move it with your finger then it’s reached the setting point. If it does not then you should continue boiling for 5 more minutes and test again.

Allow the mixture to cool a little then pour into cleaned, sterilized jars that have been warmed in an oven set to 120°C for 10 minutes. Top with a circle of wax paper, seal securely then allow to cool before storing.

Hedgerow Jam

September 17, 2009

Hedgerow Jam

Traditional Ingredients 250g rose hips 250g haws 250g sloes 250g rowan berries 450g crab apples 450g blackberries 450g elderberries 125g hazelnuts, finely chopped sugar (weight varies, see below) 20g butter

Method: Wash the fruit well then combine all the fruit (apart from the elderberries and blackberries) in a pan and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking until the fruit are soft (about 30 minutes). Now pulp the fruit with a potato masher or a wooden spoon. Pass the pulp through a fine sieve to remove the seeds then weight the pulp. Combine the pulp with the blackberries and elderberries in a pan along with the chopped nuts. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 15 minutes then add 900g sugar plus more sugar equivalent to the weight of the fruit pulp you measured. Stir to combine then cook over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Mix in the butter and bring to a boil. Boil rapidly, stirring all the while for about 10 minutes Test for setting by placing a plate in the fridge. Spoon a little of the jelly onto the plate, allow to cook then move it with your fingernail. If a crinkly skin forms then the jelly is ready. If not continue boiling for 5 minutes more and test again. Skim the surface with a slotted spoon then ladle into sterilized jars that have been warmed in an oven set to 110°C for 15 minutes. Allow 1cm of head space then secure the lid, allow to cool and store. http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/miscellaneous/fetch-recipe.php?rid=misc-hedgerow-jam

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