Foraged fruit jelly (crab apple, elderberry, plum and blackberry)

Making jelly and jam with foraged fruit

I have been doing quite a bit of foraging of late. Autumn will be with us soon and all the hedgerows of Somerset are laden with fruit. I am having medium success recognising fruits and so far have found and collected elderflowers, crab apples, blackberries, cherry plums, wild garlic, elderberries and sloes. Hopefully my foraging knowledge will continue to expand throughout autumn!

This last eight weeks I have been sautéing, forking, fermenting, racking and bottling up a storm, hoping to put aside a range of chutneys, cordials, wines, vinegars and jams to last me until next summer.

I made a fine jelly with some hedgerow fruit varieties that was worth sharing. You need to make it overnight, and I used that were naturally pectin-rich, so no jam sugar needed in this recipe.

To preserve for longer, I also sealed the jars using the water bath method, for 30 minutes.

Makes at least eight (8) 500g jars

1kg blackberries, washed

1 kg crab apples, washed, de-stemmed and chopped (rustic cut)

500g-1kg of whatever other berries or other glut fruit is around (elderberries, raspberries, plums)

Kilos of sugar- at least 3

Apples cherry plums elderberry blackberry fruit

Add all the fruit into a large pot, add just enough water to cover everything. Bring slowly to the boil and simmer until everything is soft and all the flavours from the fruit have transferred to the water – even the apples should be mushy when you press them with a spoon.

Apples cherry plums elderberry blackberry pulp

Sieve through something fine (like a muslin cloth) and let the juice drip from the pulp overnight. I used a thigh-high sheer stocking stretched over a colander.

Apples cherry plums elderberry blackberry pulp

The next morning, measure how much liquid you have now and add 900g sugar per 1L juice. Bring this mix to heat slowly until the sugar is dissolved, then put on a roiling boil for 10 minutes while you skim scum off the surface with a small sieve.

Pour into sterilised bottles and add to a water bath, simmer steadily for 30 minutes. I forgot to take any photos of this part, I believe I was overcome at this point with Jelly Water Bath Madness.*

Allow to cool slowly.

Apples cherry plums elderberry blackberry jelly pectin successApples cherry plums elderberry blackberry jelly pectin success

Pectin success!

* The main symptom of Jelly Water Bath Madness is that I forget to take photos.

About kellymarietheartist

I am an artist who, up until recently, was living and exhibiting within Toowoomba and the greater Granite Belt district. I have since packed up and left Australia, and am currently living and working in England. My work engages the craft involved in handmaking within a contemporary art context. I am drawn to the physicality of repetitive textile processes, and this is transcribed though the tactile quality of my forms. In particular, processes such as crochet, sewing and rug making serve as a proxy for growth within my personal environment. Many of my works imitate situations in nature, and they form organically as I create each individual piece, each addition both a continuation and re-enforcement of its predecessors. I enjoy using recycled materials for many of my works. Using crochet and other textile techniques to do this is an important part of my work as it celebrates a tradition of craft that has historically been relegated to 'women's work', with all the negative connotations that entails.
This entry was posted in How-to, Preserves, Recipes, Somerset and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Foraged fruit jelly (crab apple, elderberry, plum and blackberry)

  1. Pingback: Rosehip and apple jelly | kellymariemcewan

  2. Pingback: Kiwifruit tart recipe, how to use up extra kiwi fruit | kellymariemcewan

  3. Pingback: Making pickles in Andalusia  | kellymariemcewan

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