Saturday, 11 September 2010

Hedgerow delights

Finding a couple of hours a few days ago, when the sun was shining, I walked through the fields enjoying the wonderful late summer weather, with a couple of lidded boxes. The blackberries which I had spied the previous day had all been picked so I had to walk much further, but I was not to be deterred. As soon as I got home I set to: washed and picked through the fruit, and set them on to boil together with a few chopped up windfall apples. Overnight I strained the lot through some muslin, which I draped over a colander. I had a wonderful dark liquid. I make 500ml with 400 g sugar into cordial. This is the first time I have tried this, and it was very successful. After boiling up the mixture for five minutes, I poured the liquid into some small bottles which I had been saving, and then with the tops on, I put then into a big pan full of boiling water, and felt that 30 minutes was probably sufficient to sterilise the lot. Both Mr S and visiting nephew have finished off the two smaller bottles already!

I then made some superb jelly, clear and well set with 500 g of sugar to 500g of juice together with the juice of one lemon. The rest I made up into 'cheese', having pushed through almost everything except the pips through a sieve. This took me ages, but the results were well worth it.

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