Some berry good recipes!

As the "Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness" (John Keats) approaches fast, I am eyeing up the hedgerow gifts that my paddock has to offer. The hazelnuts are coming on a treat and the elderberries are ripening fast. So with this in mind here are a couple of excellent elderberry recipe ideas from the fantastic book “Fruits of the Hedgerow and Unusual Garden Fruits” written by Charlotte Popescu.

Elderberry and Apple Crumble (serves 6)

225g (8oz) Elderberries, washed and stalks removed.
675g (1¬Ω lb) Cooking Apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tbsp water
100g (4oz) granulated sugar

125g (5oz) Wholemeal Flour
100g (4oz) Butter
75g (3oz) Light Muscovado Sugar
50g (2oz) Ground Hazelnuts

Put the elderberries and apples in a baking dish with the water and add the granulated sugar, turning the fruit over as you do so, to distribute the sugar evenly. To make the crumble whiz the flour, butter, sugar and hazelnuts in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs and then spread over the fruit, patting it down gently. Bake in the oven at gas mark 4, 180oC (350oF) for 30 minutes.

Elderberry Chutney

675g (1¬Ω lb) Elderberries, stalks removed.
450g (1lb) Onions, peeled and diced
675g (1¬Ω lb) Cooking Apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 tsp Mixed Spice
1 tsp Ground Ginger
¬Ω tsp Cayenne Pepper
¬Ω tsp Salt
450ml (3/4 pint) Vinegar
350g (12 oz) Granulated Sugar

Put the elderberries, onions and apples in a large saucepan. Add the spices, salt and half the vinegar. Bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and the remaining vinegar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and then simmer until thick, stirring to prevent sticking. This should take about 40 minutes. Spoon into warmed jars and seal. Try to keep for 6 weeks to mature.

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