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Thursday, 16 September 2010


A quick and easy bike ride for us, is along the bridle path, a short way up Brusselton Hill. There is the remains of a derelict garden beside the path and although it is very overgrown, raspberries, blackberries and apples are to be found. Also, not far from us near the village of Gainford, the footpaths are lined with blackberry bushes and near Headlam Hall, "unclaimed" apple trees can easily be accessed.
So to work! A blackberry and apple crumble was made for that day. Blackberries were washed and dried and frozen. Then raspberries from the freezer, fresh blackberries and scrumped apples were boiled till good and mushy and then strained through muslin.
Then the juice was boiled up with sugar to make Hedgerow Jelly.

The apples were then peeled and cut up into two batches of chutney. One with green tomatoes and one with spices and chillies.
DJ made some smart labels and now all the jars are looking for homes. We shall use plenty ourselves, but this xmas will provide an opportunity for emptying the cupboard a bit.
The elderberries were just ripening and looked so pretty in the sunshine that I'm tempted to harvest some of them and make stuff....but what? Any ideas or recipes?
Cheers Gillian


Sue said...

It must be so nice to be making all that jam and chutney again Gillian. I do miss your lemon butter though, lol! How nice to be able to go for a bike ride and pick all those berries too.

carol said...

How professional they look! it's getting harder and harder to find blackberries around here and the ones that have survived the roadside culls are a well-kept secret, as are the best mushroom-growing places.

I find blackberry jam a rather too pippy experience - do you ever strain it?

Gillian said...

The best and easiest way to deal with "difficult" fruit, ie. pippy or troublesome to peel, is to chop it up a bit, put it in a pan and cover it with water, then boil it for about half an hour till it all goes mushy. Then cool it and pour it through a double layer of muslin.
Boil up each pint of liquid with a pound or just less of sugar till it reaches setting point.
That's another lesson!
We are eating blackberry and apple jelly for breakfast!
Cheers Gillian