Continuing the theme of my recent trips foraging in the woods behind our home, I finally got round to creating my latest flavoured vinegar -Elderberry Vinegar.
Since we began with foraged fruits alone, we have made Sloe Vodka, Blackberry Vinegar, Blackberry and Apple Crumble, Blackberry Brandy and now Elderberry Vinegar.
Elderberries are much tougher that blackberries and therefore the vinegar cannot be cooked in the same way. Instead the elderberries need to be baked in the oven with the vinegar and sugar to extract the most from every berry by allowing them to burst.
Once the vinegar has been bottled, it can be used as a great salad dressing and with cheese too as an alternative to the Blackberry Vinegar.
8ozs of Elderberries
Half pint of white wine vinegar
4ozs caster sugar
1. Place the ingredients in an oven proof dish and cook in the oven for an hour and a half @ 150C (300F).
2. Let the mixture cool and strain the liquid through a sieve before bottling.
When I was younger, the idea of being dragged out for the afternoon fruit picking with the family was as much fun as going to the dentist. But recently, with the advent of TV shows like River Cottage, ‘foraging/fruit picking’ has become a growing trend, which I got suprisingly hooked by when going for a walk this afternoon (saturday) in the woods behind our home.
We started to notice bush upon bush of untouched blackberries within a few minutes of our walk, so abrubtly turned round, picked up a container and went back to start filling it. Within only a few minutes, we had collected just under a pound of blackberries and were already deciding what to do with them.
When we got back home we decided that we would try to make three things from them all:
Blackberry and Apple Crumble (Gluten Free)
the last two being more of mum’s suggestions and recipes. Over the next few days I will add the recipes on here, once I have tried them out.
Now I realise why we were dragged around picking fruit as children, as you cannot find fruit this fresh in your local supermarket!
On the walk home, we also noticed bushes of sloes and elderberries, so if tomorrow is fine weather, I think another walk is in order. Already have some ideas as to what to do with them!