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Hedgerow Recipes

These (old) recipes use UK imperial measurements.


Jams and Jellies Syrups and Drinks Soups and Sauces
Rosehip Apple Jelly

4lbs apples (windfalls will do)
2lbs ripe rosehips

Peel apples, and place in pan with rosehips with just enough water to cover, plus 1 pint extra.  Simmer slowly until cooked.  Strain through jellybag overnight.  Measure juice, allowing 1lb sugar per pint.  Mix sugar and juice in pan and boil until setting point is reached.  Pot into warm jars.

Nettle Syrup

Gather the tops of young nettles, wash well and to every 1lb of nettles, add 1 quart of water.  Boil for 1 hour, stain and to each pint of juice add 1lb sugar, boil for 30 minutes.  When cold, bottle.  Can be used as a blood purifiers and makes a cooling drink when soda water is added. 

Watercress Soup

4oz watercress   ~   1 onion 
1oz butter    ~   ½lb potatoes (sliced)
2½ gills water   ~   2 teacups milk
salt and paper   ~ 1tsp cream

Chop cress and cook gently with onion in butter for 7 mins.  Add potatoes and water, cook till tender.  Sieve or liquidise.  Bring to boil with milk added, stir in cream and seasoning, serve hot.

Sloe Jelly

Put sloes into pan, cover with water and simmer till tender.  Strain through jellybag, complete as above.

Haw Jelly

Similar to above, using 3lbs haws and 3 pints water.

Elder Syrup

Take ½ gallon elderberry juice and put into pan, add a well beaten egg white.  When it boils, skim any froth that rises.  To each pint add 1lb sugar, boil until syrupy.  Bottle when cool.  Use for colds.

Chestnut Soup

¾lb chestnuts   ~   seasoning
1 quart stock

Cut tops of chestnuts, bake until both skins come away, peel and cook with stock until soft.  Strain and sieve.

Rowan Jelly

Cover 3lbs of rowan berries with water in pan, cook till pulpy. Strain through jellybag.  Cover 3lbs crabapples with water, boilt until soft, strain also.  Mix both juices and complete as above.

Blackberry Cordial

Pour 1 pint of white wine vinegar over 1 quart of ripe blackberries.  Leave to stand for 1 week, stirring occasionally.  Strain when ready and put liquid into pan with 1 lb sugar and ½lb honey.  Bring to boil, then cool.  Bottle and keep in dark place.

Chestnut Jam

2lbs chestnuts   ~   1½lbs loaf sugar
3 tbsps vanilla essence
½ pint water

Boil chestnuts, peel and skin, and crush through wire sieve.  Make a syrup with sugar, vanilla essence and water.  When ready, put in crushed chetnuts and cook gently until fairly stiff.  Put into hot glass jars and cover.

Bilberry Jam

Wash fruit, crush in pan with wooden spoon, add juice of 1 lemon to each 2 lbs bilberries and simmer until soft.  Add warmed sugar, 1½lbs to each 2 lbs fruit.  Boil to setting point. Pot and cover.

Herb Beer

1 (gloved!) handful nettles
1 handful dandelion flowers
1½lbs sugar   ~ 1tbsp ginger
2 lemons   ~  ½oz yeast

Boil nettles in 1 gallon of water for 10 minutes.  Strain into bowl, then boil dandelions in 1 gallon water for 10 minutes, strain, add sugar and ginger and mix well.  Cut lemon in slices, put on top, add yeast.  Cover and stand for 8 hours, strain and bottle.

Mushroom Soup

½lb mushrooms   ~ 1 chicken stock cube
1 pint milk   ~   salt and pepper,
1oz butter   ~   1oz flour

Wash mushroomes, put with stock cube and milk into liquidiser.  Season well.  Liquidise for one minute.  Melt butter in pan, remove from heat and stir in flour.  Stir in liquidised mxture gradually and bring to boil, stirring.  Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes.

Hedgerow Jam

8oz rose hips ~ 1lb blackberries
8oz haws ~ 1lb elderberries
8oz sloes ~ 4oz hazelnuts
8oz rowanberries
1lb crab apples

Wash fruit well. Put rose hips, haws, rowanberries, sloes & chopped crab apples into pan, add water to cover, cook until tender.  Sieve & weigh the pulp.  Put pulp into pan with blackberries, elderberries, and chopped nuts, simmer for 15 minutes. Add 2lbs sugar plus the weight of the hip pulp in sugar.  Cook over a low heat until sugar has dissolved, then boil rapidly until setting point is reach.  Pot.

Rose Hip Syrup

Crush 2lbs rosehips and put into 3 pints boiling water.  Bring back to boil, remove from heat and let stand for 10 mins.  Strain through jellybag and when it ceases to drip, return to pan with another 1½ pints boiling water.  Re-boil and allow to stand as before, strain.  Mix both extracts, pour into a clean pan, reduce by boiling until juice measures 1½ pints.  Add 1lb sugar.  Stir over gentle heat until sugar dissolves, boil for 5 minutes.  Pour into hot bottles, seal.

Watercress Sauce

4oz watercress  ~   ½ pint water or stock
1oz butter   ~   salt and pepper
1tbsp cream

Strip leaves from cress and chop stalks.  Boil leaves and stalks in stock or water til just soft.  Drain and chop finely.  Melt fat, add flour and cook a few minutes.  Add strained liquor, gradually, to make sauce and bring to boil.  Season, add cress, stir in cream and serve hot with freshwater fish.

Blackberry and Elderberry Jam

Take equal quantities of blackberries and elderberries (stripped of stalks), put in pan, bring to boil and cook for 20 mins.  Allow ¾lb sugar to each 1lb fruit, bring again to boil for 20 mins.  Pot.

Sloe Gin

Pick enough sloes to half fill a clean Kilner jar, about 1lb. Prick all over and put in jar with 4oz granulatd sugar. Seal jar and leave for 3-4 days, shaking jar twice a day.

Fill jar with gin and stir well, seal and leave for at least 6-8 weeks, gently shaking jar from time to time. Strain through muslin into clean bottle.

It improves with keeping, but is very good after just a few months for the weak willed (like me)

Recipe provided by Margaret H

Mushroom Ketchup Sauce

Use large black mushroomes.  Break them into small pieces and put in earthenware pan.  Cover with salt, stand in cool place for 3 days, stirring frequently with wooden spoon.  Strain, put liquor into a pan and simmer for 20-30 mins.  Add pepper, mixed spice and onion if a flavoured sauce is prefered.  Bottle when cold

Don't forget: Some excellent conversion charts can be found at

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