Wednesday, 2 September 2009
Busy Busy Day!
Seeing as I'm up to my eyes in fruit and insects I thought it was time to get my head down and have a marathon 'processing' session.
My first task was damson gin while the kids were in bed last night. I used this recipe from the sloe.biz website. All went well until this morning when I awoke to a small purple puddle in the kitchen - one of my demi johns had cracked and gin had been slowly leaking out all night. Fortunately the other one was fine so all was not lost.
Next up was cordial made from a mixture of blackberries and elderberries. I used the basic recipe given here but changed the fruit to roughly 2 parts blackberries and 1 part elderberries I also added a pinch of ground cloves and cinnamon to the juice before adding the sugar. I love the resulting cordial, the elderberries give the blackberries additional complexity and depth. Last year I made blackberry vodka but was rather disappointed with the result which I thought was a bit one dimensional and weedy. I'm now wondering how a mixture of blackberries and elderberries would be, I may have to give it a go before the season finishes.
Finally, pear and elderberry jam, from a Marguerite Patten recipe, naturally!
Pear and Elderberry Jam.
1lb each pears and elderberries (peeled, cored weight for the pears)
3tbsp lemon juice
Chop the pears into small dice and put in a pan with about half a cup of water. Simmer for 10 mins. Add the elderberries and cook til soft. Add the lemon juice and sugar, cook on a low heat til the sugar dissolves then increase the heat and boil til setting point is reached.
Apples can be substituted for pears in this recipe.
So, once I've made my plum and marzipan tart for tea tonight the fruit in the house will be back under control, just a bowlful of pears and apples like any other normal household. So naturally tomorrow I'm off damson picking with friends, oh yes, and then there's the 3kg or so of cherry plums still in the freezer (sigh) I'll miss the fun once the fruit season ends though.