Autumn Thoughts and Hedgerow Jam
I have been thinking over the past week. The mornings definitely have an autumn feel about them, the grass is wet with due, the windows in our cottage have steam on them early in the day, and the feeling is, well, just autumn.
The Hedgerows are full of fruit ready for picking, and the herbs are dying back. Its time, I thought, to make use of the earth's bounty. So to begin with, Hedgerow Jam. There will be more in the 'food and drink' pages soon, I just some time to put it in there, and I am smiling here. This is one of my favourite times of the year.
This Hedgerow Jam makes use of what you can find in the hedges at this time of the year
8 oz. of rosehips (a little hard right now, but will cook down in jam, and are full of vitamin C)
2 lb. crab apples, or the small apples that can be found on the sides of the road. (Apple cores, and sometimes pear cores, thrown out of car windows after eating them, sometimes grow into small trees, take a look now (September/October) and see how many of these you can find in the tree and shrubs we drive past. The fruits often last all year on these trees although they do wither in hot weather.
1 lb. sloes (these are the black fruits of the blackthorn tree) A smallish hedgerow tree or bush with very long thorns.
1 lb. blackberries
6 oz. elderberries (full of Vitamins that Boost the Immune System)
10 oz. white sugar
- Wash and clean the fruit.
- Put the rosehips, sloes and chopped apples into a jam pan.
- Add water to cover and cook slowly, until all the fruits are tender.
- Pass the fruit mixture through a jam strainer. Keep the liquid, weigh it and pour into a large saucepan. Add the same amount of sugar as there is liquid.
- Also add the blackberries, elderberries, and 10oz sugar to the pan and simmer for around 15 minutes, or until the mixture reaches setting point.
- Pour into sterilised jars and put lids on immediately.
This recipe makes about 10 to 12 jam jars.