Fruit Foraging Recipes

Kate Corder and Ella Montt encourage foraging fruit from hedgerows, bushes and trees as fruit ripens. Being able to grow fruit in allotments and gardens is desirable but not always possible depending on access to space. Planting more fruit bushes, fruit trees and nut trees are valuable future sources of nutrition. Vintage jam and chutneys can mature over several years deepening flavour. Label the jars as a reminder of what jam and chutneys the jars contain and the year they were created. The recipes are all vegan.

If possible always use non aluminium saucepans and baking trays for making jam or cakes to avoid absorbing the metal. Stainless, cast iron and pyrex are good alternatives, as are stainless steel and wood utensils. Teflon coated non-stick saucepans are not good for making jam. Human dwellings at one time were often built with pantries to store preserves. Now many homes are built without a pantry, so one has to improvise. Use a cool, dry storage place, cupboard or shelf. Jam and chutney can keep for several years; check it from time to time. Labeling and dating the jars is a good idea. When cooking jam and chutney be careful, as it gets very hot!

Blackberry Jam
Ella Montt’s extra tasty Blackberry Jam recipe: Ingredients = 1kg Wild Blackberries, 1kg fairtrade organic sugar, 1 wax free organic lemon, 1 stick organic cinnamon bark or ground cinnamon. Method: place clean jam jars to heat in oven at about 100c. Simmer blackberries with cinnamon for approximately ten minutes. Add and dissolve sugar, then boil jam rapidly for twenty minutes. Add zest and juice from lemon. Check jam regularly on chilled saucer to see if it set. Remove from heat and pour carefully in to hot jam jars, seal immediately. Eat as desired.

Cherry Plum Jam
Ella Montt’s extra tasty Cherry Plum Jam recipe = 1kg Wild Cherry Plums, 8oz/225g fairtrade organic sugar, 1 wax free organic lemon (not always essential, but adds pectin content), 1 stick organic cinnamon bark or ground cinnamon (not essential, but adds extra kick to jam taste). Method: place clean jam jars to heat in oven at about 100c; simmer plums with cinnamon for approximately ten minutes; add sugar, dissolve, then boil rapidly for twenty minutes; add zest and juice from lemon, check jam regularly on chilled saucer to see if it set. Remove from heat and pour carefully in to hot jam jars, seal immediately; eat as desired.

Plum stones add flavour to the jam, if you prefer to make Jelly or want to make sure there are no seeds or stones in the Jam, sieve the fruit before adding the sugar. Place plum stones in a loose weave cotton bag and continue cooking the jam. Cherry Plums are normally ready from mid July, Plums in August and Damsons in September; all are recommended for Jam making.

Plum Chutney
Plum Chutney recipe ingredients: 1kg Wild Cherry Plums (July) or Plums (August), 8oz/225g fairtrade organic sugar (demerara or muscovado), I onion peeled and chopped, 300ml cider vinegar (or light malt vinegar), 1 stick organic cinnamon bark or ground cinnamon, and other suggested spices, 1 teaspoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon mustard seed, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon or 1 or 2 cardamon seeds, chopped fresh or stem ginger is optional but not essential, and 1 cup sultanas or raisins (also optional). Method: place clean jam jars to heat in oven at about 100c. Plum stones add flavour to the chutney and jam. Either separate the fruit stones from the fruit before cooking or simmer plums and then sieve to remove fruit stones. Either way place fruit stones in a small loosely woven cotton bag and then continue cooking the Chutney. Add the spices, onion, sugar and vinegar, dissolve sugar and then boil rapidly for forty-five minutes uncovered, stirring frequently until the chutney reduces and thickens. Remove from heat and pour or spoon carefully in to hot jam jars, seal immediately. Eat as desired. Be careful of hot chutney, when it is boiling.

Spiced Apple Chutney
Spiced Apple Chutney recipe: Place clean glass jars in an oven heated to 100c. Ingredients: 2 1/2lb/1.1kg cooking apples, 8oz/225g onion, 8oz/225g fairtrade sugar (demerara or muscovado), 4oz/100g sultanas or raisins, 1oz/25 chopped fresh or crystalized ginger, 10floz/300ml organic cider vinegar or light malt vinegar, 1 dessertspoon mustard seed, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder, 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (up the spice content to your preference and/or use whole spice seeds), salt is optional. Method: Place all the ingredients in a large stainless steel saucepan, stir well and bring to the boil. Simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes until the mixture reduces and thickens. Stir frequently with a long handled wooden or stainless steel spoon to prevent chutney sticking to the bottom of the saucepan. When the mixture has reduced and thickened spoon or pour in to the heated glass jars and screw the lids on tightly. Allow the jars to cool and store in your pantry. Eat as desired.

Apple, Ginger and Sage Chutney
Apple, Ginger and Sage Chutney recipe: Place clean glass jars in an oven heated to 100c. Ingredients: 2 1/2lb/1.1kg cooking apples, 8oz/225g fairtrade sugar (demerara or muscovado), 1oz/25g chopped fresh and / or crystalized ginger, 12 chopped sage leaves, 10floz/300ml organic cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder (or fresh chopped chilli or flakes), 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, grated nutmeg, (up the spice content to your preference and/or use whole spice seeds), salt is optional. Method: Place all the ingredients in a large stainless steel saucepan, stir well and bring to the boil. Simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes until the mixture reduces and thickens. Stir frequently with a long handled wooden or stainless steel spoon to prevent chutney sticking to the bottom of the saucepan. When the mixture has reduced and thickened spoon or pour in to the heated glass jars and screw the lids on tightly. Allow the jars to cool and store in your pantry. Eat as desired.

Slow Cooked Apple Butter is a popular and traditional fruit preserve in many European countries and America, but not well known in the UK. The term “butter” just refers to its consistency, so Apple Butter should be vegan, (but always check the labeling if in doubt). Basically it is a slow cooked fruit spread, which is more concentrated than a jam or jelly. Often it is made without added sugar. The fruit butter normally slow cooks all day. Apple Butter keeps for along time and is very tasty on toast. In the UK, one can normally buy it in Healthfood Shops. Ingredients for Apple Butter are 6lbs/3kg of apples, peeled and cored, the pips and peel can be placed in a small cotton bag tied with cotton string, cinnamon, cloves and spice can be added but are not necessary, 3 cups of water and a cup of sugar (optional a half cup of sugar for every lb of fruit). Simmer the apples, for an hour and if the apples are still solid, they can be sieved. When cooking the butter, the idea is to keep the apples on a very low heat, which can be done in a baking dish in the oven. The fruit content should gradually reduce and eventually the mixture darkens. It is important to stir the mixture every half an hour or more frequently when water content of fruit puree is evapourating quickly. Some recipes say the fruit should be cooked for 6 to 11 hours. (I have never made Apple Butter, but will attempt to do this in the Autumn). It is important to slow cook the fruit on a low temperature over a long time period. Some recipes also use half a cup of vinegar, a pinch of salt or juice and zest of lemon.

Apple, Ginger and Raspberry Jam
Ella Montt’s extra tasty Apple, Ginger and Raspberry Jam recipe = 2kg Apples, 8oz/225g Raspberries, 8oz/225g fairtrade organic sugar, 1 wax free organic lemon (not always essential, but adds pectin content), 1 stick organic cinnamon bark or ground cinnamon and grated nutmeg, (spice not essential, but adds extra kick to jam taste). Method: place clean jam jars to heat in oven at about 100c; wash and chop up apples, remove core and pips (peel apples if preferred), chop ginger, place apples and ginger in a saucepan, simmer with cinnamon until soft, add raspberries cook for approximately ten minutes; add sugar, dissolve, then boil rapidly for twenty minutes; add zest and juice from lemon, check jam regularly on chilled saucer to see if it set. Remove from heat and pour carefully in to hot jam jars, seal immediately; eat as desired.

Fruit Crumble
Fruit Crumble recipes can be varied in so many ways. Suggestions for fruits to be used in crumbles are Apple, Pear, Rhubarb, Gooseberry, Blackcurrant, Apricot, Peach, Plum and Damson depending on your source of fruit. Different berries (Raspberry, Loganberry, Blackberry, Jostaberry and Chuckleberry) and currants (Red or White) can be added, creating tasty combinations; (Pear and Raspberry Crumble or Blackberry and Apple Crumble). Cinnamon and Ginger can spice up a crumble. Always remove the fruit stones when making Plum, Peach, Apricot or Damson Crumble. Damsons will probably need more sugar.

To make the crumble: Wash and prepare fruit, peel apples and pears (if desired), cut up and core, remove fruit stones. Fruit can be lightly simmered, but it is not essential (add sugar if desired). The fruit might need half a cup of water to be added for cooking. Place prepared fruit in an ovenproof dish. Prepare crumble (amounts vary on size of crumble dish): 1 or 2 cups plain flour of you choice and/or 1 or 2 cups of oats, add a few spoonfuls of sugar to sweeten (optional). Sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds can be added or chopped nuts. Add a few spoonfuls of vegetable oil or vegan margarine and mix the dry ingredients together to make a crumble. Spread crumble over fruit and place in a oven at about 180-200c for approximately 25mins. Crumble can be slow cooked at about 150c if you prefer.

Apple Cake
A basic apple cake recipes is as follows:
1/2 cup veg oil or dairyfree spread, 1 of sugar (not strictly necessary), 1 or 2 chopped or grated cooking apple plus sliced apple for decoration, 2-4 cups of flour depending on the size of your baking tin adjust other ingredients accordingly, (use gluten free, spelt, whole wheat, plain or self raising flour whatever your preference), 1/2-1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of baking powder (particularly if you are not using self-raising flour), 1/2-1 cup dairyfree milk (rice, soy, coconut, hemp, almond, oat), 1 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of mixed spice (or more if you like), 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg, one can also add chopped walnuts, dates or raisins etc, melted sugar can be used on top to glaze the cake either while it is baking or sprinkle the cake with sugar (and cinnamon) when it comes out of the oven and is still warm. Some recipes recommend adding a tablespoon of vinegar and 1/2 salt. I normally mix all the ingredients together, making it a smooth consistency, then add the chopped apple. Transfer the mixture to a baking tin (oiled and floured or lined with paper) and arrange rings of apple on top. Bake in an oven at either 200c or 350f for about 30- 45 mins. When the cake comes out of the oven and it has cooled down then remove it from the tin. Cakes can be baked in pyrex dishes. This is a basic cake recipe, so if you have other fruit, pears, gooseberries, plums, peaches etc, swap these for the apples. Fruit can also be placed at the bottom of the baking tin, like an upside down cake and then when it is turned out, the fruit is seen at the top.

© Copyright Kate Corder

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Haystack – Heathrow Orchard Walk Vegan Apple Cake 2014

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