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Recipes using some home grown or local wild fruit (by Chris Whatley).

If you have some well loved recipes for your fruit or veg. you'd like to share with the village, please let us know.

Wild Plum Vodka

We have a wild plum, or bullace, tree which bears small green very tart fruits.  They didn't seem much good for eating or cooking, until we discovered the following recipe of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's for a delicious liqueur (if you like sloe gin, you'll love this!)

For each 75cl bottle (eg ex wine bottle) you will need:

330g wild plums

165g sugar

350ml cheap vodka

Prick the fruit and add them to the bottle (they might be a bit of a squeeze to get in a narrow neck); add the sugar through a funnel (rolled up paper works well); top up the bottle with vodka; seal and leave in a cool dark place; tip every few weeks to mix and dissolve the sugar; leave for several months (September harvest will be ready from Christmas onwards, but like sloe gin gets better the longer you leave it); when you're ready to serve a bottle, strain the fruit out through a reasonably fine sieve and decant into another bottle.  Cheers!

Apple & Ginger Jelly

This jelly is a lovely delicate flavour and goes well with meats such as pork.  It can be made with crab apples or cooking apples or a mixture.  One of the good things about jellies is that they can be made with less than perfect fruit such as windfalls.

Washed apples cut into chunks, with bad bits removed

Just enough water to cover the apples in a pan (about 1.5 litres per 1.8kg apples)

Sliced or grated root ginger (a 2 inch section of root depending on personal taste)

450g sugar per 600ml juice once strained

Bring the apples and ginger to the boil and simmer for about 1 hour until the apple is pulpy;  strain the juice through a jelly bag, and measure to determine how much sugar to use; pour into a clean pan and bring to the boil; add the sugar and stir until it dissolves; boil hard until setting point is reached (test for this by putting a drop of juice onto a chilled plate and check that it forms a skin); decant into warmed jars (small jars are best as it doesn't last all that long once opened) and lid when still hot.

Braised Pork & Plums

To serve 4:

4 pork chops

450g plums (eg yellow plums), stoned and diced

1 inch piece of ginger, grated

Strip of orange peel

4 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp sesame seed oil

1/2 tsp chinese 5 spice powder

175 ml vegetable stock

4 tbsp white wine

Spread the plums and ginger over the base of a greased ovenproof dish, season with salt and pepper and bake at 200C for 20 minutes;  heat the oils in a frying pan, add the pork and five spice powder, and fry both sides until brown; place the chops on top of the plums and tuck the orange peel and thyme under the chops; add the wine to the frying pan and scrape the base then pour over the chops with the stock; bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Plum Crumble with Hazelnuts

This recipe requires you to beat the squirrels to both plums and hazelnuts - last year we won, this year the squirrels seem to be getting their own back!

Put a layer of halved plums (victoria or other red varieties) in the base of a dish with some ground cinnamon and a small amount of sugar if required.  Make the crumble mix however you prefer, but add some chopped roasted hazelnuts to the mix, and after putting the crumble mix on the plums, sprinkle a few more chopped hazelnuts of the top.  Bake for about 40 minutes at 170C.