I decided to follow on with the foraging theme and show some of the results of our efforts. Blackberries are still widely available in the hedgerows and will be for some weeks. Perhaps reading how easy it is to make something special will inspire someone to go out and enjoy picking blackberries then come home to make something from the fruit you collected and didn't eat along the way.
I didn't do anything complicated with the blackberries as I don't use sugar or wheat flour therefore making jam or blackberry pies wasn't an option for me. I will be freezing some of the fruit but I used Agar (extracted from seaweed) to make a jelly. I simply heated the fruit until the juice appeared and cooled this after straining it through a muslin cloth before making up the agar with the liquid. I had to boil the juice again with the Agar powder before it was ready to add back into the fruit. This step could be missed if you just want pure jelly but I wasn't going to waste the actual fruit so I made a jam like consistency which was free from added sugar and full of vibrant taste. I potted up a few little jars and also have a large Mason/Kilner jar filled up. I am sure I know people who will enjoy some of this jelly although most likely they will have to serve it with something sweet whereas dad enjoys the sharp twang with his Greek yoghurt.
I finished my day by filling more jars was with home made ketchup. I can still class this under a fruit title although I can't claim to have foraged the tomatoes! The addition of an apple plus a selection of spices creates a delicately spiced, unsweetened ketchup. The spices may surprise you but they blend wonderfully with the other ingredients to produce the final sauce. If you would like the recipe for the ketchup please just get in touch as I would be pleased to send you same.
I enjoyed doing these blogs and hope they will inspire others to keep it simple by using fruit and vegetables in season. Beverley