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 listed below 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. Organic ingredients also reduce chemical absorption. 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. During the process of cooking jam and chutney be careful, as it can get very hot and bubbly in the saucepan!
Multiply the ingredients and the fats needed depending on how much fruit you are using. Ella Montt normally adds at least a minimal amount of water (250ml to 1kg of fruit) to simmering fruit. Adjust as you see fit, but if there is too much water the jam may take longer to set.
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 1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional, but cinnamon makes it extra tasty!). 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. This jam will have seeds in it, so if you prefer a jelly without seeds, you will need to strain the fruit to remove the seeds before adding the sugar.
One can alter the Blackberry Jam recipe to Blackberry and Apple or other fruits, such as Pear; adjusting the ratio ie 500g Blackberries and 500g Apples. Pears need to be peeled as their skins are tougher, Apple skins can have high pectin content, but if peeled will give a smoother jam. Chop and decor Apples and Pears. Simmer with the Blackberries.
Jostaberry, Gooseberry, Redcurrant or Blackcurrant Jam
Ingredients = 1kg of either Jostaberries, Gooseberries, Redcurrants or Blackcurrants, 1kg fairtrade organic sugar these currants are packed with pectin so one should not need a lemon to set. Method: place clean jam jars to heat in oven at about 100c. Simmer fruit for approximately ten minutes with 500ml-1l water depending on your preference (the more water added the longer the jam will take to reach setting point = jam science). Add and dissolve sugar, then boil jam rapidly for twenty minutes. (If using add lemon juice). 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, great on fresh bread, toast or on top of cereal.
Jostaberry bushes are really easy to grow from cuttings. The bushes when mature (several years) grow to be tall and can be laden with fruit. Fruit berry bushes need to be netted, because birds love the flowers and the fruit. Birds particularly small birds will eat the flowers on the bushes when they are flowering and then there will be no fruit. Pigeons love gooseberries and Jostaberries and will eat it before it is ripe. When there is fruit Pigeons will sit on fruit bushes, break the bushes and eat the fruit. The birds also patrol the bushes on ground level eating whatever fruit they can eat.
Ella Montt’s Gooseberry Chutney ingredients: 1kg green or red Gooseberries, 8oz/225g fairtrade sugar, 1 tbsp organic onion powder or 1-2 finely chopped onions (red or white), 1 stick of cinnamon (to be removed after cooking), seeds from a few cardamom pods or 1/2 to 1 tsp ground organic cardamom, ground black or mixed pepper corns, 1 tsp salt to taste if desired, 125ml to 250ml organic cider vinegar, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp coriander (if liked but not essential), 1 inch chopped ginger or 1-2 tsp of organic ground ginger, another magic ingredient could be smoked paprika. Cooking time should be about 20mins but might be longer depending on liquid content. Ella Montt finds if too much vinegar is used the taste of the chutney will require more adjustment via adding more sugar and spice. Method: Pre heat clean glass jars and lids in an oven at 100c (approx). Top and tail the gooseberries, wash the fruit, chop onions and ginger, mix all the ingredients in a large stainless steel saucepan with a big spoon, cook the mixture so it is bubbling, but not boiling over, stir frequently as chutney and jam will stick to the bottom of the pan and burn (charcoal is not a wanted ingredient!). The goal is to get a tasty chutney so you will need to try the mixture and see if it needs any adjustment to taste, ie more sugar, salt spice etc. If you have run out of sugar and want more sweetness try adding dates, raisins or sultanas. Once the chutney has reached the desired consistency, turn the heat down and get ready to put the chutney in the preheated jars. A jam funnel helps to keep jars clean. Tighten the lids after you have spooned the chutney in to the jars. Label and date the jars. Always be careful of hot jam and chutney, as during cooking the mixture can bubble and jump in the saucepan. Chutney should be kept for about six weeks before eating, if you can not wait that long. Windfall Apples are another ingredient that could be added to this chutney, more sugar might be required for taste (400g).
Cherry Plums can be foraged in July and Plums in August or slightly later depending on the variety. Damsons are normally ready in September (they will probably need more sugar). Ella Montt’s extra tasty Plum Jam recipe = 1kg 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 pits/ stones in the Jam, sieve the fruit before adding the sugar. This process is particularly relevant for wild cherry plums and damsons. If you are using plums large enough to cut up, remove the stones before cooking. Place the plum stones in a loose weave cotton bag and cook/continue cooking the jam.
Plum Chutney recipe ingredients: 1kg Wild Cherry Plums (July) or Plums (August), or Damsons (September), 8oz/225g fairtrade organic sugar (demerara, muscovado are recommended but castor sugar is equally okay). I onion peeled and chopped, 125-250ml cider 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 and 1 cup chopped dates 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 Rhubarb Chutney
Apple, Ginger and Rhubarb Chutney recipe: Place clean glass jars in an oven heated to 100c. Ingredients: 2lb/1kg cooking apples (peeled and chopped), 1lb/500g Rhubarb (chopped), 8oz/225g fairtrade demerara sugar, 1oz/25g chopped fresh or crystalized ginger, 10floz/300ml organic cider vinegar, zest and juice of 1 organic unwaxed lime, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 chopped chili or 1/2 tsp chili flakes, 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, grated nutmeg, 2 tsp sea salt (up the spice content to your preference and/or use whole spice seeds), salt is optional. Method: Wash, chop and peel the fruit. 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. It is worth taste testing chutney and adjusting flavours. 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.
Cooked chutney should really be kept for six weeks to allow the flavours to develop. The intensity of flavours in both jam and chutney really begins to develop even more after six months.
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.
Slow Cooked Apple Butter is a popular and traditional fruit preserve in many European countries and America, but not well know in the UK. The term ‘butter’ just refers to consistency and so Apple Butter should be vegan, (always check the labelling). Apple Butter is basically a slow cooked fruit spread with a more concentrated taste then a jelly or jam. Often it is made without sugar. The fruit butter should normally be slow cooked all day. Apple Butter should keep for a long time and it is very tasty on toast. In the UK it is normally available in Healthfood Shops. Ingredients for Apple Butter are 6lbs/3kg of apples, peeled and cored (pears can also be used). The pips and peel can be placed in a cotton bag tied with cotton string. Cinnamon, cloves and mixed spice can be added but are not essential. Use 3 cups (250ml) water and a cup or half cup of sugar (optional) for every pound of fruit. Simmer the apples for 1 hour and if the apples are still solid they can be sieved. When cooking the butter, keep it on a low heat either on the stovetop or in a covered baking dish in the oven. The fruit should gradually reduce. Stir the mixture every half hour or more frequently to prevent the butter sticking or burning. Some recipes state the butter needs to be slow cooked on a low temperature for 6 to 11 hours. As moisture evaporates the butter should darken and become dense. Ella Montt recommends purchasing Apple Butter to see the taste and consistency to aim for.
So far we have attempted to make Apple Butter once and our mixture was still too much like apple sauce jam. So, like all jam and chutney making, there is a fine art to successful Apple Butter making. And, like Art, failure can be a successful outcome in making Art.
Lemon Pickle is one of our new favourite pickles. Hands up who has a Lemon tree?! Not many humans in the UK! Ella Montt recommends using organic unwaxed lemons. Depending on the size of the jar or jars you have adjust the amount of lemons. Bigger jars fit more lemons. We normally make small batches using 3 or 4 lemons in one bigger jar (pasta sauce size). The ingredients are: up to 6 washed and dried lemons, 1-2 tbsp sea salt, 1 to 2 tsp dried red chilli seeds (adjust to taste), 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tbsp fenugreek seeds, 4 tbsp sesame oil, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, and 1/2 tsp asafoetida powder. Make sure the jar is clean and heat to 100c to sterilise. Cut the lemons in half and then in to smaller pieces and remove the seeds. The lemons should be juicy so cut in a bowl to save the juice. Add the salt and asafoetida to the lemons and mix. The fenugreek seeds and chilli need to be slightly toasted in a pan. Grinding these spices is an option but we normally don’t. Add the mustard seed and sesame oil to the pan and heat slightly until the mustard seed bubble. Don’t overcook the seeds, as it will make the pickle bitter. Spoon the seeds and oil on to the lemons and mix in, adding the turmeric powder. Then place the mixture in the glass jar. Cover the jar either with cotton fabric or the jar lid. Keep the pickle on a counter top or window sill and stir everyday for about 4 weeks. Then the pickle can be refrigerated. It will keep for sometime, as it is a pickle. Some humans keep pickles for years.
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.
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, or vegetables such as courgettes and sweet potatoes 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.
Pumpkin / Sweet Potato Pie recipe coming soon and sourdough cakes and pancakes.
© Copyright Kate Corder
Haystack – Heathrow Orchard Walk Vegan Apple Cake 2014