Fruits Of Their Labour: Husthwaite’s Cider Rennaissance

Orchards of Husthwaite

We have 5 Places left on our Cider Making day course, (12th October) this blog is about the cider mill that we visit on the day.  Back at our barn you will learn how to make delicious cider at home and at the end of the day take away 5litres of apple juice in a fermenter all ready to go. To find out more or to book a place check out the extra courses page on our website.

A nicely written piece about an excellent project.


How the residents of a Yorkshire village used cider to return to their roots.

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Crab apple Brandy

crab apple brandy to drink

The finished product, ready to drink!

Not just for jelly!
Deliciously tart Crab apples turn a very average bottle of brandy into a luxury tipple.


1 x 70cl bottle of brandy
500g crab apples
Juice of half a lemon
50g sugar


Wash the crab apples, remove the stalks and cut them into halves. Put them into a large bottle or jar with a well fitting lid. Add the brandy, lemon juice and sugar. Swirl the ingredients around to dissolve the sugar and leave in a dark place for a month. Once a week give the brandy a gentle swish round to help extract the flavour from the fruit. After a month taste it to check for flavour and sweetness.

crab apple brandy just started

The flavour of the crab apple brandy will vary from year to year as the fruit varies. You can easily sweeten the liqueur by stirring in some caster sugar. Likewise if there is not enough apple flavour add some extra apple and leave for another week or two. When you are ready to bottle the brandy remove the fruit and strain through a very fine mesh sieve or muslin. The crab apple brandy will improve with keeping, – ideally store for a year before drinking.

Cider making course

cider 1

If you have ever fancied making cider at home but were never sure where to start, we have created an October day course which gives you a fun day of learning, 5 litres of apple juice in a fermenter, yeast and the skills to turn it in to cider!

Our one day cider making course is a day of emersion in to the world of cider: chopping, pressing, brewing and bottling. Date Weds 12th October 2016

We visit the local cider making cooperative and learn how different types of apples are used to create a good flavour balance and see the techniques used to produce a great quality product. The apple chopping machine and press will be in action and we can help in the apple juicing. Our guide Cameron Smith has a wealth of knowledge and experience. He will explain processes and techniques with us and we will be able to see how the village community produces enough cider to fund lots of local projects.

We have lunch back at the barn in our wood and taste some local ciders. The afternoon is spent with passionate homebrewer Steve, he will show you how to make reliably great cider on a small scale in your own kitchen. You’ll learn about different types of cider making equipment from the very basic household items to more purpose made devices — and have a go at using it. Steve will share his tips and techniques to make successful cider and give everyone a step by step guide. Along with the guide you will take home a 5 litre fermenter full of apple juice an airlock and yeast…all ready to turn into cider

The course starts at 10.00am and finishes at 4pm. The course will run in Taste the wild’s woodland kitchen. (Nr Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire) directions will be sent with course booking confirmation. We will have a 15 minute drive to our local cider makers in the morning.

To book visit our website here

The cost of the course (£95.00) includes:-

  • all tuition
  • lunch
  • cider tastings
  • 5L apple juice
  • a fermenter
  • an airlock
  • yeast

Making natural skin and hair care products

We have spent a lot of years looking in to the culinary uses of wild plants and along the way have discovered that they also have some fantastic therapeutic benefits. Many of our everyday wild plants have amazing ways to help our skin and hair.

hair and skin care

Rose has designed a great new course to teach about some of these exciting plant uses. Come along and learn to make natural skin and hair products at home, for yourself and for others!

The beauty of this course is that you can choose the wild ingredients that are perfect for your own hair and skin. For example some strengthen hair, some encourage it to grow, there are plants for reducing wrinkles and some that help with eczema.

Course itinerary

  • Introduction to the benefits of using wild plants in skin and hair care.
  • Demonstration on making infused oils
  • Hands-on session making shampoo for your own hair type.
  • Demo, then everyone makes a bath bomb
  • All make bath salts
  • Tea, coffee and biscuits
  • Demonstration on making lip balm
  • Hands on session making lip balm and herb salve
  • Talk about emulsifying and demonstration of making cream
  • Q & A

Herbal hair and skin care is extremely personal and this course gives you the chance to make products for your own needs. You will receive hands-on experience in making, natural skin and hair care products along with an introduction to the raw materials used. No previous knowledge or experience needed.

The course runs from 10.00am until 1.00pm on Tuesday 22nd November, at Pilmoor Grange, close to our wood in North Yorkshire. We will be in a beautiful stone and oak barn and there will be heaters but it would be advisable to wear warm clothes and comfortable shoes and to bring an apron. Course materials, herbal plant guide sheets and recipe sheets are provided for each student as well as tea, coffee and biscuits. Full directions are given when you book. Places are limited to 8 people.  £60.00 per person.

Of course you’ll take home all of the products that you make:

  • Herbal shampoo
  • Bath bomb
  • Bath salts
  • Lip balm
  • Herbal salve

To book visit our website here

Laverbread Tortellini


I love Laver seaweed!!  My lovely wife Rose does not. I am trying to convert her and recently tried this recipe out on one of our Coastal Foraging course in Staithes. It went down really well , it even got pronounced “best tortellini ever” by some. Unfortunately I am still trying to convince Rose.

The stuffing for the tortellini is inspired by a traditional South Wales laverbread breakfast, the sauce is a rich onion stock infused with fried pancetta.

Laverbread tortellini with a rich onion and bacon stock.
Serves 4 as a starter.

For the pasta

500g ’00’ pasta flour
5 large eggs

For the filling

1 Shallot finely chopped
large knob of butter
250g Cooked laverbread (simmered for several hours). Finely chopped
1 slice of brown toast, chopped
50ml Double cream

For the stock

3 Red onions sliced
1 sprig of Thyme
3 slices of Pancetta finely chopped. Plus 3 slices finely chopped for garnish.
400ml water


First make the pasta. Put the flour into a bowl, make a well in the middle and crack in the eggs. Mix well until the dough comes together. Take out of the bowl and knead well (10 mins) until smooth and elastic. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate while you make the filling.

To make filling, melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat, add the shallot and cook gently until translucent but not brown. Put the toast, laver and cream into a food processor, add the fried shallot and any melted butter and pulse until smooth. If the mix looks dry, stir in an extra bit of cream  so that the filling is moist. put into a bowl and chill until needed.

Now make the stock.  Place a pan over a medium heat and pour in a glug of olive oil. Once hot, add the onions, Thyme and half the pancetta then cook gently until the onions are a deeply caramelised and brown.

Add the water cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 30 minutes. Now check the seasoning and taste. You want a rich onion flavour and if it is not intense enough cook out a little more.  Once you are happy with the taste pour through a sieve into a clean pan and reserve.

Take the pasta dough out of the fridge and roll it out very thinly, preferably with a pasta machine, but if not, as thin as you can with a rolling pin.

Cut the pasta into twenty 10cm squares and put a heaped teaspoon of filling in the centre of a square. Dip your finger in a little water and run it along two edges of a square. Fold the square into a triangle, pressing the top together and then working your way along the sides.
Pinch the bottom two corners of the triangle together to form a kerchief shape (see main picture). Press tightly to seal. Toss with flour, set aside on well-floured baking sheet, and cover. Repeat with remaining pasta squares.

To serve

Fry off the remaining pancetta pieces until brown and crispy.  Warm the stock through over a low heat.

Cook the tortellini in a large pan of boiling for  2-3  minutes until they float at the top of the pan, then drain.

Divide the stock between 4 warm bowls, add the tortellini and sprinkle over the crispy pancetta and if you like some chive flowers.



Laver Porphyra sp.

Found at the upper end of the tidal zone, fixed to rocks in sheets. Harvest with scissors to allow the seaweed to regrow. By pulling the seaweed you may also pull off tiny bits of rock that will get into you cooked dishes!



Wild food cookery course

We have had many requests for an ‘in depth’ wild food cookery course, so here it is!

We have designed this day to give you real taste of seasonal wild ingredients and during the day Chris will teach you, as if in your own kitchen, how to cook great dishes that will bring new  flavours to your table.

The venue for the course is The Yorkshire Wolds cookery school, near Driffield, which gives us all the facilities we need for a fabulous day of cooking and eating.

The use of the cookery school allows us to explore some more refined recipes that we would find hard to do over an open fire in the woods. Chris has created dishes that make the most of autumn’s bounty and also teach you some great core cookery skills like game preparation, curing and preserving as well as the processing of interesting wild ingredients like Burdock and acorns.

cured venison

The day will be a mixture of demonstrations from Chris and plenty of hands on cooking sessions in the schools beautiful teaching kitchen.  Lunch will be cooked as part of the course and you will also take away a goody bag and a comprehensive set of recipes for all the dishes.

Planned menu

A terrine of rabbit, black pudding and cobnut with apple and hawthorn.

Cured venison loin, elderberry ketchup, pickled berries and smoked oil.

Roast partridge, hogweed spiced squash, and burdock chips

Acorn panna cotta

Skills covered on the day

Jointing a rabbit.
Terrine making.
Simple curing.
Ketchup making.
Preparing and roasting game birds.
Preparing and cooking with burdock.
Preparing and processing acorns.
Making panna cotta.

To book the course go to our main website here 

Accommodation is available at the Yorkshire Wolds cookery school and this can be booked directly with Highfield farm. .

Wild garlic vichyssoise, Parmesan cream and Wild garlic oil

IMG_7072 (2)

We are making the must of the wild garlic and the warm weather.

A cool soup for a warm day!

Wild garlic vichyssoise, Parmesan cream and Wild garlic oil

For the soup.   Serves 4 as a starter.


3 Tablespoons butter
6 Leeks white parts only finely chopped
2 Medium sized floury potatoes chopped into small cubes
16 Wild garlic leaves finely chopped
230ml Double cream
230ml Vegetable stock


In a large, heavy bottom pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add the leeks and cook gently for 5 minutes, making sure they are soft but do not take on any color. Add potatoes and wild garlic.  Cook for a minute or two, stirring a few times. Add the stock and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 mins, or until the potatoes are very soft. Puree the soup and then pass it through a sieve to make it super smooth.

Return to a pan and stir in the cream. Season with salt and pepper, bring to a simmer and cook for 5 mins. Take off the heat and cool, then chill.

Serve cold with parmesan cream (see below), Wild garlic oil (see below) and a scattering of Wild garlic flowers.

Parmesan Cream.   Makes more than you need for this recipe but you can store it in the fridge for a few days and use it with pasta sauces etc.

200ml double cream
Parmesan rinds, about 10 cm square in total.
These are just what you have left over after you have grated all the cheese.  I never want to throw them out but never do much with them. This proves they were worth saving!!

Put the cream and cheese into a small saucepan and simmer until thick. Remove the cheese pieces and season the cream with salt to taste.

Wild garlic oil.   Makes more than you need for this recipe but will store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

100ml Olive oil
10 wild garlic leaves finely chopped

Blend oil and garlic together, allow to sit for 30 minutes and then pass through a sieve.