The Strawberry Tree Restaurant
Harvest time is always precious, whether down on The Farm or along The Hedgerows, The ‘big reap’ really only gets to be ‘BIG’ on certain years when everything falls nicely into place. There are so many parameters outside our human control; temperatures, humidity and sunshine are natural occurrences that we have to leave in the lap of the gods. After 3 years of rain and the coldest start in April, the gods and Mother Nature really have smiled on us, at last! The Farm reap 2013 has been just super but our Wild Foods Harvest has been bumper, the best since 2006. None, more so than the Crab Apple…we have seen small boughs break this year with the weight of the fruits. Here’s a recipe that marries two wild members of the Rosacea family together; The Wild Crab and The Wild Rosehip. We love recipes like this…one harvest, three results!
WHAT GOES IN
1.5 kg Wild Crab Apples, prepared .5 kg Wild Rose Hips, prepared Cinnamon or spices, to taste, if you wish 1kg sugar Water, just enough to get the juices running
HOW IT GOES
Simmer rosehips in a pot for 2 hours, press through a sieve. Chop the apples bring to the boil and simmer separately until soft. Combine the rosehip pulp, crab apples and juice and strain liquid through muslin, without forcing, overnight.
HOW TO FINISH
First, take the clear liquid, place in a pot with sugar on a 50/50 basis (1 Lt. Liquid to 1 Kg sugar) stir and boil rapidly until setting point, 106 degrees. Skim and pour into sterilised jars, cover, and store in a cool dry place. Second, twist the muslin and force the pulpy mixture through, pour into sterilised jars, cover, and store in a cool dry place. Third, take the pulp, press through a sieve to remove cores and seeds. Spread this on a dehydrator tray or baking tray. Dehydrate or place on baking trays in as low an oven as possible, overnight or until dry.
WHAT YOU GET
One set of ingredients, three results and no waste! A clear Wild Rosehip and Wild Crab Apple Jelly: That works beautifully and simply toasted with a goat cheese, or as an old-fashioned ‘Fruit Butter’ accompaniment with a vintage cheese. Also works a treat with pork, turkey or chicken and makes a great accompaniment with a traditional meatloaf or as the sweet ingredient if you’re making your own muffins. Also a Cloudy Wild Rosehip and Wild Crab Apple Cordial: Perfect as a chilled cordial with water for the kids instead of the mainstream stuff, just add your own ‘sugar syrup recipe’ to slightly sweeten. Also perfect for the adults as ‘a teaspoon of autumn’ with a glass of bubbly. Chill well after opening or if needed, freeze. Finally, a Dried Wild Rosehip and Wild Crab Apple Leather: Cut into cubes or thin slices, you can use it with your Granola or Muesli in the morning; check it out in your bread or scone recipes. Evan & Tim