Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fall Foraging

Fall is here and it is foraging season! My sister and I have been out in the fields and hedgerows looking for fruit to make into syrups and jellies.

Elderberry syrup

We found a lot of elderberries and made syrup. It has a beautiful garnet color.

Boiling elderberries for syrup

Mashing the berries

The syrup can be used in many ways. Over pancakes and waffles, added to club soda for a sparkling drink, added to white wine for a fruit punch, and I will make some of it up into jelly.
I used it in the Spicy Pear dessert I made for my daughter when she came for a visit and it was delicious! This is based on a medieval dish I read about. Here is the recipe:

Spicy Elderberry Pears

4 pears
3 c red wine
3 tbsp elderberry syrup
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
3 peppercorns

Peel and core the pears and place in sauce pan. Pour wine and syrup over them. Add the cinnamon, cloves, and pepper corns. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the pears begin to soften. Serve them hot and the pears will be pink, or let them cool and put them in the refrigerator overnight and the pears will absorb more wine and be dark purple. I like to serve them over Greek yoghurt.

Spicy elderberry pears

We also found a lot of crabapples and made them into jam.

Crabapple jam

Crabapple jam

This stuff is yummy! We found several different types of crabapples and mixed them all together. This jam is a pretty pinky peach color and tastes very appley.
We also picked wild grapes, highbush cranberries, and rose hips. Those will all be made into jams and jellies too.


  1. Nice photos and recipes. You have been so busy.
    This year there are fewer elederberries so I can't try the wine. However, I'm going to try to make a jeely with blackberries and elderberries mixed together.


  2. Hi Wendy, Thanks! Blackberry and elderberry jelly sounds good. We always have lots of crabapples and wild grapes - so I need to do wine sometime.