Last week we were teaching for the North York Moors National Park on Sutton Bank and making a Wild Summer Berry Syrup for everyone to take home.
Wild Raspberries, Bilberries, Elderberries and blackberries made a deliciously fruity syrup to pour over ice cream. Collect some up and have a go at this simple summer treat.
Wild Raspberries grow in scrubby woodland, on waste ground and field edges etc. They grow on arching thorny stems approximately 1m tall and like a sunny position to fruit well.
The Bilberry is a small woody shrub which grows on moorland often with heather. It’s berries are blue/black, the flat top of the berry has a distinctive raised circle around it.
Elderberries are just ripening now on the Elder trees, you will find them on field edges, open woodland and on waste ground. The trees grow up to 3m tall usually.
Blackberries are ripe in sunny spots, you may also find lower growing Dewberries, they look similar to a blackberry but with fewer round segments (drupes). They often have a blue/grey bloom and like well drained ground.
Wild Summer Berry Syrup
- 1 litre (volume) of mixed summer berries
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 250ml (volume) sugar
- 250ml water
To make the fruit syrup wash the berries and place in a pan with the lemon juice. Simmer gently for 5 minutes. Strain the fruit through a sieve pushing through as much of the pulp as possible. In a clean pan heat equal quantities of sugar and water until it boils. This makes a stock syrup to which you add your flavouring, in this case the wild berry pulp. This basic recipe may need more lemon or sugar depending on the mix of fruit you have collected. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations. If you add less water and sugar you will have a fruit compote, you could freeze the syrup mixture and have a lovely summer granita or sorbet. Have a go and let us know how you get on.
As always be sure of your identification…come on a course if you want to learn more about Wild food and Foraging www.tastethewild/courses
Below are a few photos from our afternoon on Sutton Bank, thank you to Emma for organising the event, everyone had a good time learning, tasting, foraging and watching us make a wild berry syrup, we hope to do more with the National park next year.