I love making preserves and I love using foraged ingredients most of all.
Although I live in a City I don’t have to look very hard to find free fruit – in fact it tends to find me when I’m not even looking for it. On my lunchtime walk today around the housing estate near work I picked these cherry plums – just a handful as most had fallen to the ground weeks ago (what a shame July went by in a flash and I’ve missed filling buckets full of cherry plums from my usual foragers paradise). Other potential treasures entwined in the hedgerows were blackberry brambles and cobnuts. Back on the business park the crab apple trees and roseship bushes I raided last year are heavily laden with fruit again.
We also have these lovely sweet greengages in the kitchen at the moment. I can’t claim to have foraged these since Henri first asked if I’d like some and then proceeded to fill a bag himself for me from the tree shading his plot. As I can never say no to free produce and Henri can never heed ‘no more, there’s only 2 of us’ I shall have to think about what I’m going to turn my fruit bowl full of greengages into.
A quick glance through my archives reveals how frequently foraged food has formed the basis of a preserve recipe experiment. So if you’re looking for ideas about how to use up a whole variety of windfalls, berries or nuts…
Apples – baked, juices and jellies, chutney,
Blackberries – cordial, jelly,
Crab apples – jellies, pickled,
Damsons – chutney, cordial, jam, muffins,
Elderberries – jelly
Hazelnuts – honeyed
Haw berries – ketchup
Rosehips – syrup
Sloes – gin
(my other A-Z challenge posts are here)