The Urbane Forager

Summer Recipes

Please send in your seasonal recipes for foraged food.

They will be added as soon as are able.

As the Cherries will be ripening around June here is a load of assorted Cherry based recipes. Personally, I'm happy to simply eat them straight off the tree.

We also found that you can dry them effectively on the back shelf of a car (pit them first), in the hot summer sun. If you want to freeze them, leave the stones in.

Cherry Clafoutis (a big pancake with cherries in it)
Serves 4
300g Cherries, unpitted
300ml Milk
3 Eggs
60g Caster Sugar
60g Plain Flour
Half-tsp Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
Half-tsp Vanilla Extract
Icing Sugar for Serving
Heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.
Remove the stalks and arrange the cherries in a single layer in a shallow, lightly buttered 22cm glass or porcelain dish.
In a food processor, combine the eggs and sugar and beat until smooth.
Add the milk, salt and vanilla extract and whiz briefly.
Sift in the flour and baking powder and blend for one minute until smooth.
Pour the mixture amongst the cherries to about 5mm depth and put it in the oven until golden brown. The mixture will rise in the oven, but will deflate somewhat when removed.
Sprinkle the hot pudding with icing sugar before serving.
This pudding looks fab and tastes lovely but don't forget to let everyone know, the cherries still have the stones in them.
Pickled Green Walnuts
Use gloves when prepping – green walnut juice will stain your hands and clothes brown!
2 - 3 lb young green walnuts
1/4 lb salt
3 1/2 pints water
1 oz black peppercorns
1 teaspoon allspice berries
2 1/2 pints malt or wine vinegar
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 inch stick of cinnamon, crushed
Prick the walnuts all over with a large needle (these nuts are best picked before June 24th--you don't want any developed hard shell within the nut itself). Place the nuts in a ceramic bowl, dissolve half the salt in half the water and pour over the walnuts. Cover and leave for 5 days in a cool place, stirring twice a day to ensure even brining.
Drain the walnuts, mix the remaining salt and water, pour over the brine and leave for another five days, stirring twice a day as before. Drain, spread out in a single layer on a flat dish and leave to dry in the sun until they are black but not dry, turning every few hours.
Crush the peppercorns and allspice berries and simmer the vinegar with the sugar and spices for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and strain. Pack the walnuts into sterilized, wide-mouth jars, filling them no more than three-quarters full, and pour in the spiced vinegar. Cover and leave in a cool place for 6 weeks before using.
These pickles are delicious smashed into a vinaigrette or mayonnaise for a salad or sandwich dressing. Try a slice of pickle and a slice of cheese for a canapé.
Delia’s Old Dowerhouse Chutney
700g Plums
700g Cooking Apples (weighed after peeling/coreing)
700g Demerara Sugar (max, maybe less)
225g Red or Green Tomatoes
450g Stoned Raisins
225g Onions
110g Preserved Ginger
5g Garlic
5g Whole Chillies (either tied in gauze or use powder)
1.5 Tablespoons Salt
570ml Malt Vinegar
(Equal quantities of plums, apples and sugar (Demerara), 1/3 as much onions and tomatoes, 2/3 raisins, a little garlic and chillies, some preserved ginger, salt and 1 pint vinegar. This gives about 8 lbs. I cook it in the microwave - it takes time but is slightly less smelly!)
Cut up and stone plums.
Chop tomatoes, cook in pan till soft.
Mince apples, onions, rasins and ginger in food processor and add to pan with garlic, vinegar, sugar and salt. Tie chillies in a bag to handle of pan and drop in.
Cook Very Slowly for 1 - 1.5 hours until most liquid has reduced, stirring occasionally. Test the reduction by dragging spoon through and seeing if it leaves a clear trail on the pan bottom for a second or two.
Pot while hot in hot jars. Seal with a wax disc and tight lids.
High Dumpsie Dearie Jam
Equal quantities of apples, pears and plums, with a little lemon rind and root ginger (optional). Cook fruit separately till tender, add sugar (1 lb per pint) and cook till set.
Cherry Plum Cordial (Norfolk Kitchen)
First Cherry Plum recipe! This one is for Willow, as the fastest way to a 5 year old girl's heart is (apparently) a pink drink.
I weighed out 2 kilos of cherry plums, added 600ml of water and simmered gently til they were falling apart. The smell of the hot fruit at this stage was divine, delicate, sweet and fragrant. I helped them on their way by bashing up the fruit with a wooden spoon and a potato masher. I then strained the cooked plums in a jelly bag for several hours.
The resulting juice was measured and for every litre, 700g of sugar added (though this is variable to personal taste) I warmed the juice til the sugar dissolved and then used a scalded funnel to pour the cordial into warmed bottles.
Cherry Plum Schnapps (Danish Schnapps)
Plums can be eaten fresh or used in jams, marmalades, sauces, stews, stuffings, desserts, and cakes.
Plums are also made into wine, liqueurs and spirits, such as the Slivovitz plum brandies from Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
Prunes are dried plums, and both are a good source of vitamin A and fibre.
Use sweet and fully ripe plums - cultivated or wild cherry plums.
The plums must be fresh, firm, unwrinkled, smooth-skinned with no blemishes or soft spots.
You can make the schnapps in different ways.
You can use either the whole fruits, the whole fruits with small holes in them, or the whole fruits cut into halves - with or without the pits.
Using different methods, you get different results. It's a matter of taste which method you may want to use.
Personally I prefer the method with whole plums with small holes in them - I use a thick needle to pierce the skin to the pit.
You can use frozen plums. Just remember to defrost them in the vodka.
•Put 10-15 plums in a clean glass jar with tight-fitting lid.
•Cover well with clear, unflavoured vodka - 40% alcohol content (80 proof).
•Let steep for 3-6 months or more in a dark place at room temperature, 18-20°C (64-68°F).
•Shake lightly and taste it from time to time.
•Strain and filter your infusion into a clean glass bottle or jar with tight-fitting lid.
•Store (age) for at least 2 months in a dark place at room temperature before serving.
Note: If for some reason you are not satisfied with your infusion, there are ways to adjust both taste and flavours - click here to see how.
Serve your plum schnapps at room temperature in suitable glasses. And remember to keep your schnapps bottle tightly closed and in a dark place before and between servings.
Cherry Plum Jam
•4 lbs (1.8 kg) plums
•1 pint (575 ml) water
•4 lbs (1.8 kg) sugar
1.       Wash and wipe the plums. Cut in halves.
2.       Put into a pan with the water and simmer gently until the fruit is soft.
3.       Test for pectin.
4.       Add the sugar, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
5.       Bring to the boil and boil rapidly until the jam sets when tested, removing the stones as they rise to the top.
6.       Remove the scum.
7.       Pot and seal while still hot.
Makes around 6 lbs (2.7 kg) of jam.
Plum and Ginger Chutney  (from 'It's Raining Plums' by Xanthe Clay)
900g plums2 medium onions
700g mixed sultana and raisins
600ml spiced malt vinegar (or normal malt vinegar but add an extra pinch of allspice)
500g brown sugar
15g ground ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
45g salt.
De-stone the plums. Chuck everything into a big pan and let it simmer for 40 mins - till thick and jammy.
Spoon into hot jars and seal with non reactive lids.
Xanthe Clay describes it as not for everyone "with its salty sweet sour flavour ...  brings to mind HP sauce."
Apparently its good stirred into curry.
Plum chutney
1.5 kilos plums
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp mustard seeds
6-8 chilis
10 cloves
1 1/2 allspice seeds
30 g salt
400 ml wine vinegar
400 g sugar
Wash and stone plums, put them in a saucepan and combine with the ginger.
Make a bag out of cheesecloth containing: mustard seeds, chillies (cut open), cloves, allspice. Add the sachet to the plums.
Add the salt and half of the vinegar.
Boil uncovered on low to medium heat for 20 minutes.
Add the sugar and cook for 30 mins more.
Add remaining vinegar and cook for another 30 mins, until thickening.
Remove the sachet of spices and pour into sterilized jars
Keeps for about 6 months....
Cherry Plum Chutney (from The Cottage Small holder)
•3lbs/1350g wild plums/damsons/eating plums
•1lb/450g of apples (cored but not skinned). Chopped fine. Cooking apples are best but eating apples would do at a pinch.
•1 lb/450g onions chopped fine
•10.5 ozs/300g dried apricots (chopped at least into eight)
•7 ozs/200g dried raisins (chopped into four)
•Half lb-1lb/225g-450g of soft brown sugar, depending on how sweet your wild plums/damsons/eating plums are. We’d use half a lb of sugar for eating plums but used 1lb for this batch as we were using wild plums (these are very tart like damsons).
•2 large cloves of garlic chopped fine
•Half tsp of cayenne pepper
•2 tsp of salt
•1 tsp of allspice powder
•1 tsp cinnamon powder
•1 tsp ground ginger
•1and a half pints/750 ml of white wine vinegar
•1 small hot chilli
•2 tsp of balsamic vinegar
•5 juniper berries
•10 black peppercorns
1.       Stone the plums and if big enough cut into slices.
2.       Chop the apples, onions, raisins and apricots.
3.       Place all ingredients in a large heavy bottomed saucepan and bring slowly to a gentle boil. Turn the heat down immediately and simmer very gently (tiny bubbles just breaking the surface on the lowest heat) for at least five hours until the mixture has broken down and thickens.
4.       Stir from time to time and more towards the end. If your simmering point is higher than ours, your chutney will be ready sooner. Take a peek every half hour or so. The chutney will thicken as it cools.When ready pour into sterilised jars and cover with plastic lined metal lids.

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