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.

Our new season is nearly here

Our 2014 foraging courses will be starting just a few weeks time and we are busy making a few improvements on site.  As always Rose has been very busy managing the woodland, creating habitat for our growing number of wild edibles and clearing up storm damage.

The loss of a few big trees in the winter winds is always sad, but on the bright side it does open up the opportunity for a bit of new planting to take their place. The choice of what to put in is always a difficult one but it is always a task Rose approaches with relish, ready to balance the long term needs of the woodland with some shorter term gain in beauty and food for us and the birds!  Final planting was 15 Oak to help regenerate what was once continuous cover oak woodland, 15 Rowan for their rugged nature and their amazing berries, 15 Hawthorn for their flowers, foliage and berries and finally 15 Rosa rugosa (Japanese Rose).

I know the Rose is not native. but it is such an amazing plant. Rugged and resilient it will thrive on the edge of the woods and in time will provide us with fragrant flowers and huge hips both of which we love to use in the kitchen. You might remember some of our R. rugosa recipes here.

Japanese rose (square)

Rosa rugosa in full bloom

Whilst Rose has been working hard on the woodland management I have been refurbishing the composting toilets which also got a battering in the storms.  I know it doesn’t sound like fun but actually I’ve enjoyed every minute. The improvements mean that as well as lasting for a few more years, dealing with our waste in a most efficient way, the newly remodeled facilities will be a bit more comfortable for our visitors.



Chris fixing bench together


We have also been revamping the teaching area with some new benches, a way to create something new from some of our fallen trees.. We are looking forward to seeing new visitors sitting on them very soon.

Foraging course begin 12th April See website for details


Hawthorn Rolls

(like Fig Rolls but with Hawthorn instead of fig)

hawthorn hawsBright red in the November hedgerows, Hawthorn haws are usually overlooked. The flavour of Hawthorn is mild and fruity partnering apple brilliantly. In this recipe we have combined Hawthorn, apple and cinnamon to make delicious biscuit rolls that everyone will love.

Hawthorn haws have some fantastic health benefits as well as culinary uses. They are rich in vitamin C, help to lower cholesterol, reduce high blood pressure and regulate the heart*. With all these benefits you must be wondering why we don’t eat them all the time. The reason is probably that they are a bit fiddly to process, but if you collect nice ripe ones the pulp is easy to rub through a sieve. As always, be sure of what you are picking, stay safe and legal. Foraging course vouchers are available from our website

Hawthorn Rolls – makes 30

This recipe is best made over two days to allow for chilling and setting.

  • 200g Hawthorn haws???????????????????????????????
  • 1 knob of Butter
  • 1 large Bramley apple peeled cored and chopped
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 80g + 1 tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • ½ tsp pectin powder
  • 100g Butter
  • 170g Soft Brown Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 300g SR Flour
  • ½ tsp Salt

???????????????????????????????Cook the hawthorn haws in a pan just covered with water for 50 minutes or until the flesh is very tender. (If the water starts to boil away add a little more to keep the haws in enough water to cook.) While these are cooking melt the butter in a pan and add the chopped apple, cinnamon, and 1 tbsp of sugar. Cook for 20 minutes until very soft. When the hawthorn haws are cooked push them through a sieve to extract the pulp – there should be about 3 tbsps. Add the pulp to the apple mix and leave to cool.

In a dry bowl combine the sugar and powdered pectin mixing well. When the pulp is cool add the sugar and pectin and whisk. Heat the mix to a boil, whisking all the time. Boil for 5-10 minutes until it reaches setting point. On a sheet of greaseproof paper spread the Hawthorn and Apple mixture in a layer 5mm thick.

To make the pastry mixture blend together butter, sugar and eggs – you can use a mixer Add the flour and salt and blend again. (The dough will be stiff.) Wrap in cling film and chill for 3 to 4 hours or preferably overnight. When ready to bake, turn dough out on lightly floured surface. Roll into a 30cm square. Cut into 3 strips 10cm x 30cm long. Spoon the filling evenly down the centre of each strip. Fold in the sides of the strips then press the edges together to seal. Cut each strip into 10 pieces. Arrange seam side down on baking sheets. Bake at 190 degrees C. for 10 to 12 minutes or until firm and lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight tin.


*We recommend that you should consult your doctor before eating Hawthorn if you are on Heart medications.

Hawthorn blossom pastry dessert – The English hedgerow meets the Lebanese kitchen.

This recipe is inspired by a trip to Yalla Yalla, a great Lebanese restaurant just off Oxford St. in London.  We popped in for supper after running a foraging and fishing evening for Slow food week and had a great range of dishes, all packed with flavour and completely delicious.  The stand out dish of the night was dessert, a type of tart that neither of us had had before called Knefe.  The orange blossom flavours got us thinking and Rose thought we should use some of the amazing Hawthorn blossom that is covering the hedgerows around North Yorkshire to make our own version.

We served the Knefe with Hawthorn blossom ice cream, which is equally good served with a lump of chocolate cake!

knefe tart with hawthorn blossom ice cream

Hawthorn and orange knefe dessert -serves 10

  • 2 large handfuls of well scented hawthorn blossom
  • Finely grated zest of 1 small orange
  • 150ml water
  • 100ml sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 100g cold butter cut in to chunks
  • 200g plain flour
  • 400g block of mozzarella cheese coarsely grated
  • 110g white breadcrumbs
  • 90g ground almonds

Start by making the syrup. To do this gently heat the water, sugar and honey in a pan, when the sugar has dissolved add the hawthorn blossom and orange zest. Stir to make sure all the petals are well coated in syrup and heat just to simmering point, turn off the heat and put a lid on the pan. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes and then strain the syrup into a jug.

For the dessert it’s self you will need a greased 25cm tart tin or pie dish. The pastry is very simple just ‘rub in’ the flour and butter, either with your fingers in a bowl or whizz it up in a food processor. Add a tablespoon or two of water to the mix and it will start to come together. At this point you can line the tart tin, just take little bits of the pastry and press it in to the tin with your fingers. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and baking beans and bake for 15 minutes at 200 degrees C. Now remove the baking beans and greaseproof paper and return the tart case to the oven for another 5 minutes. When the case has cooled spread the grated mozzarella evenly in to it. Mix together the breadcrumbs and ground almonds and add to the flan case on top of the cheese. Lightly press down and smooth over the top of the flan. Bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees C. While the flan is still warm pour over the hawthorn and orange syrup covering the flan completely. Serve warm with Hawthorn blossom or rose ice cream.

Hawthorn Blossom Ice cream -makes 1litre

  • 300ml milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • ½ litre of well scented Hawthorn blossom
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 220g sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Put the milk and cream in a pan with the hawthorn blossom and heat gently for 10 minutes. Meanwhile put the egg yolks, salt and sugar in to a large bowl and mix until pale. Bring the milk mixture nearly to the boil then strain through a sieve on to the egg and sugar. Quickly whisk then set aside to cool. When cool churn in an ice cream maker or put in the freezer and mix with a fork every hour until it turns to ice cream.

One day foraging course 8th and 9th June 2013

Another sunny weekend spent teaching about wild edible plants to some lovely people.  Thank you all for coming – happy foraging!