Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Hedgerow Jelly and Plum Jam

If you saw my post the other day about foraging, you will have gathered that over the weekend I was busy making jam. For me this is a new-found skill (I only started last Summer), but I have in Jane a skilled mentor who keeps me on the right track. It's just a pity that as a diabetic she can't eat the finished product, which is about 50% sugar!

I'm not going to describe the recipe for Hedgerow Jelly, because I wrote about it in detail this time last year, but if you want it you can find it HERE

Instead, I'll just show you some photos...

That huge pan of mixed fruit (Plums, Sloes, Blackberries, Elderberries, Apples) eventually made these three jars of Hedgerow Jelly:

Hedgerow Jelly
Having completed the Hedgerow Jelly I made the yellow plums seen below (about 1.8kgs) into a type of jam sometimes described as "Fruit Cheese" by boiling their sieved pulp with the pulp of a similar quantity of apples, and sugar. I used Preserving Sugar, which has some added pectin, to help the jam to set.

Wild yellow plums - very like Mirabelles

After finishing the Yellow Plum jam, I set about making some of the red plums into a chutney. This has a smaller proportion of sugar in it than jam, so I think Jane will be able to eat some of it.

Wild red plums. I treated then as if they were Damsons
 The plums were cooked with some raisins and ground Ginger, in a spiced vinegar, and then de-stoned (easier said than done, please note!), and boiled with sugar and more spiced vinegar.

Making Chutney

The mixture is boiled until it goes thick and sticky.

The Plum Chutney after reduction

I'll be interested to see what the chutney is like when it cools, because the recipe I used makes something that is much more akin to a jam than to the traditional "Branston Pickle" type of chutney. It seems a lot thinner. Perhaps when it cools it sets hard....

The day's work

So there we are: 2 jars of Plum and Raisin Chutney; 3 jars of Hedgerow Jelly; and 12 and a half jars of Plum and Apple Jam.

P.S. The following day I made some more jelly with the red plums!

These little plums are best made into jelly rather than jam, because it is very difficult to extract the stones. From these ones I made two and a half jars of lovely pink jelly:-

Here is one of each of the jellies I made:

Guess what I am going to be eating on my toast for the next few months?!

P.P.S. After making all that jam / jelly I still had about 3kgs of fruit left, so I just stewed it up for a few minutes to make a "Plum compote", which will be nice just on its own, but probably even better with some ice cream.

Obligingly, the skins of the plums came off during cooking, and I was able to skim off most of them, but the stones...well that's another matter. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor, Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief (repeated ad infinitum, I think!)


  1. Fabulous post! I'm so envious! Enjoy the fruits of your labours!

  2. How cool that you have used foraged fruits to make your jars of goodies. Harkens back to the day when that was done a lot. Did you have to do the canning bath and all that with them?

    1. Marcia, No, making jam / jelly does not involve any canning. In fact, canning is not something generally practised in the UK. We tend to preserve food with sugar, salt or vinegar. I think foraging is coming back into fashion here though.

  3. I am utterly jealous, I really am.

    1. Sorry! I think foraging deserves to be more widely practised. There is loads of free food out there if only you know where to look and what to look for. Even in an urban environment!

    2. I agree Mark. I am all for foraging and got into it in a big way when I lived in Scotland.
      Even though I have been a neglectful gardener, I have been exploring my new environment and spotted some apple trees, and elderberries, and even some sloes - need to get picking now.

  4. Around here I can find wild blackberries and raspberries. A little south of here there are wild persimmon trees. The fruit is absolutely delicious but you must wait until after a hard frost or they are bitter. Looks fantastic.

  5. Wow, you've been busy. It looks fabulous. I'm so pleased that Jane will be able to partake in something you've made, even if it isn't that wonderful hedgerow jelly, I'm sure the chutney will be delicious.

  6. Those jars look so pretty. My problem with jam is I tend to make more than I eat. So I was really trying not to make anymore this year. I still have way too much from last year.

  7. That's the trouble with foraging you just can't resist picking it all - then you have to do something with the haul when you get back. I prefer jelly to jam but it does take such a lot of fruit. You must have had a pretty busy day processing all that lot - but it looks very good, nice and clear. As for chutney it seems to take forever to get it to the right consistency and the whole house smells of vinegar I always cook it twice as long as it says in the books - but it is certainly a good feeling to see the preserves cupboard full to the brim. All that lot will certainly last you till next foraging season I should think.

  8. That first photo is beautiful.


Thank you for taking time to leave me a comment! Please note that Comment Moderation is enabled for older posts.