Elderberry port and autumn thoughts

Posted by on Sep 3, 2013 in News | 2 comments

Elderberry port and autumn thoughts

So the summer has come and gone. There’s still a little bit of elderflower cordial left so in my mind I can extend it a bit but September the first is always the day I associate with the end of the summer. It means that school’s just round the corner. The summer berries and peas are finished. It’s time to start thinking about what plentiful bounties creation has to offer during the next season of life.

 

I spent the summer foraging, baking and finishing my chicken coop and threw in a trip to Greece for good measure! I was delighted with my seaweed bread with seaweed picked from the beach at Trefin (Pembrokeshire). I’m nailing the technique for dandelion coffee (the trick is roast the pieces the same size or you’ll burn some whilst some of the rest is still soft) (both of which deserve a blog post of their own!) but the real excitement begins now. Autumn berries.

 

Blackberry picking is the most foraging most of us ever do. There are three laws of blackberry picking:

  1. You will get scratched.
  2. There is always a better berry just out of reach.
  3. You can never get enough.IMG_2156

 

Because I love the thought of free food I try to get out blackberry picking as often as I can. I make jam, crumbles, pies, and always freeze some for later in the year. The truth is, there’s a whole load more berries out there for the keen eyed forager. I’ve seen damsons, wild plums, sloes, crab apples (ok, not strictly a berry) but if there’s one berry

I’d love you to try and get into it’s elderberries. They’re plentiful, packed with vitamin C, make great jam and cordial but the best thing is:

Elderberry port. From the moment I pick my last elderflower in mid July I look forward to the berries. Literally I was thinking, can’t wait for the berries! I’ve got elderflower wine, redcurrant wine and elderflower vodka on the go at the moment but mmmm that port.

 

Here’s the recipe. Thanks Megan for your help!

 

4 pints of elderberries (just put them in a measuring jug)

1.5 kg sugar

125g raisins

4.5 litres of water

 

Bring the water and elderberries to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

Strain (through a muslin cloth) and discard the pulp.

Add the sugar and raisins to the hot liquid and allow to cool. Ferment in a demijohn (I left mine in a bucket last year because I didn’t have one) for about 5-6 days then bottle in sterilised bottles and keep for a year. Ok I only kept mine until Christmas because I’m too impatient and I wanted to give cheap presents to my family. It was divine.

 

Happy home brewing.

2 Comments

  1. Also, we will be trying this. Looks like it will be absolutely lush!

    • It is absolutely fantastic. We can get together to do some in the autumn!

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