I thought I had put up some of these recipes before, so I apologise for the late posting. Here are a few that I have used many, many times and they are all very good and have turned out exceptionally well. My favourites are the Sloe Gin and the Elderberry Crumble. You can mix the elderberries with the Blackberries or with any other seasonal fruit. As the nights draw in, there is nothing more comforting than a delicious hot pudding . You can add cream or yoghurt to go with it as you wish.
So here we go!
Elderberry and Apple Crumble
- 350g (12 oz) elderberries
- 450g (1lb) apples
- 110g (4oz) sugar
- 225g (8oz) flour
- 110g (4oz) light brown sugar
- 110g (4oz) butter
- A pinch each of bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger
Take the berries off their stalks and wash them. Core, peel and chop the apples. Mix them together with the berries and sugar and put into an ovenproof dish. Rub the butter into the sieved flour, add the sugar, the bicarbonate of soda and the ginger. Press down lightly over the fruit with a fork and cook at 330F, 180°C or gas mark 4 for thirty five to forty minutes.
Wipe the sloes and prick with a darning needle. Half fill a jar with sloes and add about the same weight of sugar as of fruit, caster sugar is best as it dissolves easier. Fill up to the top with gin and cap tightly. Turn the jar upside down every day to help sugar dissolve. Leave in a reasonable warm place for two to three months, then strain well before drinking.
On our ecotrail today we sampled some year old Sloe Gin at Borris Lock. Just the ticket on a slow, muggy autumnal day!
Blackberry and Elderberry Wine (Dry)
- 600g (1 ¼lb) blackberries
- 150g (5oz) elderberries
- 1kg (2.2lb) sugar
- 1 orange
- 1 lemon
- 4 ½ litres (1 gallon) water
Pick fruit on a sunny day if possible and remove any leaves, do not wash. Put fruit into a wine bucket and pour on 2 litres (3-3 ½ pints) of boiling water. Allow to cool, then mash by hand. Allow the must to stand for 3 days, stir daily. Strain the wine must through a wine bag to remove all the juice and squeeze pulp as dry as possible. Make up the sugar syrup with the rest of the water. Start the yeast to work, grate the lemon and orange rind, squeeze juice of fruit and add all this to wine container. Make up the amount of liquid with cooled, boiled water, add the yeast and seal with a cotton wool bung. Leave for 2 days, then fit an airlock and leave for six months. Syphon into a clean container and keep as long as you can. A very good wine indeed and worth making in large amounts.