Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Wild fruit

I love the opportunity to forage for wild fruit for making jam, jellies, and chutney for us to enjoy and to give as presents, and also to make fruity gin to enjoy at Christmas time!  September and October is a good time for hips, haws, blackberries, sloes, wild damsons, apples etc.  

However, on my walks 'round the block' with Tilly at the moment there are other fruits to gather!  In the hedgerow there are gooseberries - not too many this year but present nevertheless,
and blackcurrants.  The fruits are small but more berries this year than last.
And in the woods around the house there are loads of raspberry canes.  I have made several rounds of sweet pastry filled with fresh raspberries I have picked, which the children (i.e. my grandchildren next door) have really enjoyed as a pudding.  Here's the fruit ...
.... and here's the recipe!

Oven at 180 degree C / gas mark 5

75g (3 oz) butter or margarine
175 g (6 oz) SR flour
75g (3 oz) caster sugar
1 small egg, beaten
1 - 2 tblspns milk
raspberries (or other soft fruit)

Rub the butter into the flour and stir in the caster sugar.
Mix in the beaten egg and enough milk to make a firm-ish dough.  
NB : add the milk gradually.  If you add too much, the dough will be very soft but still usable - it's just a bit more difficult to manage.  It's very forgiving once cooked!
Cut the dough into 2 pieces and roll out one half quite thinly into a round.  I find it easier to do this on the baking sheet! 
Put the fruit on the dough, sprinkle with some caster sugar.
Roll out the second piece of dough and cover the fruit.
Brush the top with milk and sprinkle with a little more sugar.
Cook in the centre of the oven for 20 - 25 minutes.

You can also make this with 2 - 3 tblspns of mincemeat and a grated cooking apple.

Blackberries come later but in the meantime I am enjoying their lovely flowers.


  1. Sloe gin was and is my favourite tipple...lovely recipe will try.

  2. There's a wild raspberry patch right across the road from our house. I feel quite possessive over it but it's a well known patch and there are often people standing around eating the berries. I have to resist the urge to chase them away with a broom!

    1. That's a bit of a bummer! I would get your broom(stick) out and if you can manage to pick a reasonable amount of fruit (even 1 lb is worth it) Elizabeth David's recipe for fresh raspberry jam is a bit of a winner. You just warm the fruit on one baking tray in a medium hot oven and warm an equal amount of caster sugar on another baking tray until both are hot and then mix one into the other! The fruit usually bubbles a bit when it hits the hot sugar. And bingo - lovely fresh tasting jam! Pot up in hot sterilised jam jars, cover when cool with a waxed disc and seal. I keep my jars in the fridge - they will last up to a year. The jam is a bit runny but the flavour is better than boiled berries!