One Day Autumn Preserves course

autumn hedgerow harvest

Course description

Preserving hedgerow berries has been a household occupation for hundreds – if not thousands of years! On this course we show you the different berries to be found, which ones are particularly good to preserve and how to do it. We will make a range of preserves, some using a mixture of hedgerow berries, some using just one fruit. There are lots of different ways to preserve – in alcohol, – as wild berry liqueurs, as traditionally boiled Jellies, jams and chutneys, savoury ketchups, fruit vinegars, sauces and cordials.

The day is held in our private wood and involves short walks and talks, demonstrations and hands on experience making preserves. Together we will be making liqueurs, jellies, sauces and a cordial for you to take home. There will be other preserves for you to try and liqueurs and seasonal drinks for you to taste.

The course runs from 9.30am – 4.00pm. There will be hot drinks and biscuits supplied and a light lunch. Places are limited to 10.

For dates and to book this course please follow the link back to our website www.tastethewild/one-offcourses
The course will be held at our own private wood near Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire. Directions will be sent to you on booking. Please dress for the weather and wear suitable outdoor shoes.

£95 per person

berry trug

Hedge Jelly

This is a simple recipe to make a wonderfully tasty wild fruit jelly that is great on toast, in cakes or whenever you need a hit of fruity goodness.  We have been doing it for years and it remains a great favourite.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can use which ever edible hedgerow fruit you can find. We put some Crab Apples in as well to add pectin to the jelly.  It is the perfect recipe for when after a Sunday stroll with the family you have a bag of mixed berries and a little time to be creative.

There are no quantities on this recipe  just a list of ingredients. The reason for this will become clear.



Sloes, Blackberries, Hawthorn haws, Rosehips, Elderberries, Rowan berries, Crab Apples… and some water, lemons and sugar.


The amount of water, lemon and sugar depends on how much fruit you have gathered. We usually have about half a basket of Hawthorn haws and then a mixture of the other fruits.

Clean the fruit of any large stalks and leaves put them into a large pan, cover with water and simmer for 45 mins until the fruit loses its colour and is very soft (you might need to top up the water). Strain through muslin and save the hot fruit juice.

Measure the liquid and pour it in to a clean pan. Add 450g (1 lb) of sugar for every pint and the strained juice of a lemon.  Stir the jelly until the sugar dissolves and then boil it fast until jelly reaches setting point ( usually 104 degrees C ) skimming off any scum. Pour into sterile jars and cover when cool enough.


Below are a few pictures of last weeks foraging courses.  Thank you all for coming.

Yorkshire Moorish, acorn, feta and berry pastilla

Following on from the ras el hanout recipe last week and  looking at the wonderful range of wild ingredients ripe for the foraging this weekend I was inspired to make a wild version of another Moroccan classic.

The result was this filo pastry ‘cigar’  filled with acorns, cobnuts, feta, elderberries and blackberries. A take on the savoury sweet pastilla Rose and I have enjoyed on trips to North Africa in the past few years.

We hope you enjoy it, our guests this weekend on the Vegetarian wildfood weekend loved it. Photos and menu below.

Acorn Pastilla makes 12

  • 200g processed  (see below) Acorns
  • 200g  Shelled Cobnuts broken into small pieces
  • 200g Feta Cheese
  • 1 x Red onion very finely chopped.
  • 60 x Elder berries
  • 20 x Blackberries chopped
  • 1 x egg beaten
  • Filo Pastry (we used shop bought Jus rol brand and used 2 packs)

To process your acorns, peel off the outer skin and then split the nut inside into two. Place the nuts in a pan with plenty of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes then replace the water and repeat. After the second simmer, drain the acorns and break them up into small pieces. Do not use raw acorns, you must process  them this way.

Put a little oil into a frying pan over a medium high heat and fry your chopped onion until slightly caramelised then remove from the pan into a mixing bowl. Add the rest of the filling ingredients to the bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste but be careful with the salt as the cheese is quite salty.

Open up your pastry sheets. Ours were oblong and about 25cm by 50cm and we cut them down into 2 piles of sheets 25cm by 25cm.

rolling pastillaTake one sheet of filo and place one twelfth of the filling in a 10 cm  line across the bottom edge of the sheet in the centre, start to roll up the cigar then stop and fold in the edges, when the edges are folded in continue to roll until you have nearly finished rolling, brush the last bit of pastry with a little of the beaten egg and then roll up completely to seal.

Place this filled cigar shape on another pastry sheet and repeat the rolling process so you have two layers of pastry per roll.

Deep fry the parcels at 180 degrees C until light brown and crisp, drain well on kitchen roll and serve warm.


September 2013

Vegetarian Wild food weekend

Menu plans
Friday night dinner

Dal bhat tarkari

Saturday  lunch

Pumpkin and Hogweed seed soup.
Wild marjoram fougasse

Saturday night dinner

Vegetable tagine with wild spice Ras el hanout
Sorrel couscous
Acorn pastilla
Hogweed lassi

Sunday  lunch

Mugwort and wild mushroom Ravioli
Orache butter sauce.
Dandelion and Burdock

Pontack sauce recipe

Pontack sauce is an old traditional recipe named after ‘The Pontack’s head’  a restaurant in London in the 17th Century. It has a good strong flavour, I think it’s a little bit like HP Sauce. Ideally keep it for a few months before using, as the flavours mellow. It goes especially well with cold meats and game but you can also use it to add a fruity richness to gravies or sauces.

This is my version of it.

  • 500g Elderberries (washed and stalks removed)
  • 250ml White wine vinegar
  • 250ml Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Red onion chopped
  • 15g fresh root ginger bruised
  • 1tsp ground Allspice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 170g Demarara sugar

Put all the ingredients, apart from the sugar, into a heavy based saucepan and cook  on a low heat for 2 hours. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh seive into a clean pan, squashing as much through as possible. Add the sugar and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes and pour into sterilised bottles or jars.

Hope you like it !