Monday, 27 September 2010

Rose hip and blackberry fizz

I love foraging, but dare emerge from the undergrowth clutching a lumpy looking carrier bag as a young family trundle past on their Sunday cycle – parents’ eyes scan you like you're some kind of woodland dwelling deviant. One thinks of exclaiming, "It’s OK, I'm forager!" at volume, but I fear the outburst would only alarm them further, startling Father into a brier. Better take a large, suspicion quelling basket out from now on, or wear a t shirt with 'NOT A SEX PEST' in caps across the front.

For the rose hip syrup
1kg Rosehips
1kg Sugar
3ltrs Water

Chop the rose hips while you bring half of the water to the boil. Add the hips; wait until it rises to the boil again before taking off the heat and leaving to infuse for 15 minutes. Strain through muslin, squeezing as much liquid out as possible. Tip the pulp back into the pan with the rest of the water; bring to the boil and leave to infuse for a further 15 minutes. Strain as before, add sugar to liquid and boil until the syrup is reduced by half. Pour into sterilized bottles.

For the cocktail
Rosehip syrup

Drop a blackberry into the bottom of a champagne flute, cover with rose hip syrup and top up with champagne. Slanche!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Discovery mustard potatoes

Serves 4
800g potatoes, cubed
1 thinly sliced red onion
2 Discovery apples, cored and cubed
4 tsp wholegrain mustard

Boil the potatoes under a watchful eye - until a sharp knife just about slips through a cube. While you drain the potatoes, have a glug of olive oil heating in a frying pan. Pop the potatoes into the pan; toss gently every few minutes, adding the onion and apples about 10 minutes in. Stir in mustard just before serving. Great with pork chops - not forgetting a glass of crisp cider.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Feral fruit chutney

2 lbs Wild fruit (I used a mix of mostly wild cherry plums, damsons and apples). Oh, and a pair of crab apples.
1 large chopped onion
4 tbsp sugar (possibly more, depending on the collective sweetness of your fruit)
1 Red chilli
2 Star anise
1 Cinnamon stick
A splash of cider vinegar
A pinch of cayenne pepper

Soften onion in a pan while you remove the fruit stones and chop the (peeled) apples. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a quick bubble. Boil for 30-45 minutes until reduced and thick, before spooning into sterilised jars.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Chocolate, hazelnut and hogweed seed tarts

Half a 375g pack sweet pastry
200g Dark chocolate
50g Golden caster sugar
3 Eggs
3tbsp Single cream
1/2tsp Ground hogweed seeds
75g Chopped hazelnuts (wild if the squirrels haven't thieved them first; which is likely)

Heat the oven to 180C. Line 4 tart tins with pastry and blind bake for 10-15 minutes (they need to be slightly golden). Melt the chocolate before mixing in the cream and ground hogweed seeds. Whisk eggs and sugar until thick and creamy. Carefully fold in the chocolate mixture and about ¾ of the hazelnuts. Spoon into tart cases, sprinkle remaining nuts on top and bake for 10 minutes.