So much fruit

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Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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S. Lanarkshire
It's three quarters of the way through September, and we are still awash with fruit, and the trees are laden.
Apples, pears, plums, rowans, hips, rasps, brambles. I don't mind there being such an amount in years.
It's lovely to see, it's lovely to have the choice, and the ability to use and store, but it's still a bit overwhelming.

Be interesting to see how Winter does though.

M
 

bobnewboy

Native
Jul 2, 2014
1,106
600
North West Somerset
We’ve got kilos and kilos of raspberries and blackcurrants in the freezer to make jams and jellies and crumbles as we need them. Plus of course the 30 or so jars already done. Last weekend I made up some test jars of damson jelly and sloe jelly (following Hugh’s YouTube video :) ), and we will try them in the coming weeks. The free apples seem to be surfacing in our village, so we will be making pie fillings and/or dried apple rings. I don’t think we will be lacking in fruit over the dark months…..
 
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Toddy

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I find sloes hard to like. I know they make good gin, but really it's the sugar and just the general fruitiness that adds to it.
I don't like the leftovers, I think they're a waste of good chocolate.
Then again, I make and use and like Rowan Jelly, so maybe the sloe one would be good too :dunno:

I've just finish kilner jarring the last of the rhubarb. I've run out of space to store fruits now unless I dry them. I still want apples and pears ready for crumble and pies though.
Pears are glorious dried :) sweet and almost toffee like somehow...make sure they're ripe before you use them for it....and apples are a perennial favourite. We fill three ten ltr jars with dried apples every year and we're just at the end of last years. Nice timing :)
To rehydrate them for cooking the best stuff I've found is hot apple juice, or even cheap cider.
Mostly we just munch the dried slices though.
 

Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
What was likely done, a thousand years ago, with bulk foraged edibles?

Thanks for the generous tip about hot apple juice for reconstitution.
I dried 5 kg rasp berries and they are like bullets now.
Soak overnight? What's the best treatment?

I dry 25 lbs Roma tomatoes every fall, just cut in half and @ 52C, pretty much done in 36 hours. I like them from the fridge and leathery while I do meal prep.
 
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bobnewboy

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Jul 2, 2014
1,106
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North West Somerset
Ah, no leftovers for the sloes and damsons except skins and stones. They’ve gone in the hedge with a silent wish that they grow and thicken it.

We will probably have a range of apples, from eaters to super sour cookers. The eaters will be our winter nibbles as dried rings (gotta love that dehydrator), and the cookers will be cooked up as apple mash for various fruit puddings, and frozen in portion sized bags.

There seems to be a thing here in Somerset: you might be considered as an incomer if you’re still excited to accept free fruit that seems to be offered to all. After three years we’re still enjoying that :). We’re happy to swap our berries for others such as gooseberries, but offers of apples seem to be universal - especially good for us as we don’t have any apple trees….
 
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Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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@Robson Valley

It's such a shame the way that rasps dry out like that.

Again, the apple juice works, but the seeds are really hard and not good even after resoaking.
Best I find to do with them is to put them into a pot (or a pyrex bowl, one you can put a lid on because they froth in the microwave) and just and no more cover them in water, wine or juice of some kind. Then slowly bring them up to a simmer. Let them sit there for a few minutes and turn the heat off. Let it cool down and then strain and press them through a sieve.
Just get rid of the seedy bits altogether.

Make their pulp into a kind of coulis and it's excellent over cake or fruit.
Brilliant with black chocolate :)

If you sweeten it a bit, and freeze it, give it a good stir when it's sort of half frozen, then it makes a really good sorbet :).....and spoonfuls of that are excellent in a cold drink too.

Again, sweetened up a little, it is excellent in fresh yoghurt. It's also really good if you make jelly with it for trifle .....Son2, trifle, happy mix :)

I like raspberry jam, but there's only so much you can use, and I'm still getting over 250g a day of fruits from my canes. So, I'm freezing it in small bagfulls.
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
36,883
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S. Lanarkshire
What was likely done, a thousand years ago, with bulk foraged edibles?

Thanks for the generous tip about hot apple juice for reconstitution.
I dried 5 kg rasp berries and they are like bullets now.
Soak overnight? What's the best treatment?

I dry 25 lbs Roma tomatoes every fall, just cut in half and @ 52C, pretty much done in 36 hours. I like them from the fridge and leathery while I do meal prep.

Bulk foraging was hard to store. Every blasted thing out there wants a nibble of it too.
Even in the high Himalayas they have problems with rats eating their yak cheeses :rolleyes: over Winter.

I think that it's both people and culture dependent.
We know that in the south of England, on the chalk, they dug out huge pits in the ground and stashed stuff in those, and sealed over it lasts really well. Grain at the edge of the pit starts to sprout and gives off a kind of gas that stops the rest sprouting, sort of like negative bananas ? if I make myself clear ?

Clamps work for roots, but you have to watch out for rats and mice, and in your country raccoons and the like too. Here it was only really the wild boar that would dig up a clamp.

Fruit, dry it, or hope it's all sound enough that you can store it in a loft or a basket or pot of some kind. Dried mushrooms, apples, etc., must have been pretty common. It's astonishing how well the smoke preservation works.

Wine seems to have been a perennial favourite :) they have found beakers in graves here that they reckon the analysis of deposits was of booze of some kind. So that's four to five thousand years ago.

I think mostly folks ate well of the seasonal round, hoped to have enough to get through the lean months, maybe managed to get a bit of fat on themselves, especially on youngsters and young family bearing/rearing women.
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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It shouldn't be insipid though :) it ought to be tasty.
I'm not getting enough strawberries from my plants now to bother making anything with them. We just eat them as we pick now. However, if you can get strawberries, and they're easily (well they were, heaven knows what this winter will bring, even if it does sound like they've sorted the CO2 issue for the present) available in the supermarkets here, then those mixed with raspberry pulp are very good.

Best of all though is mixing the raspberry pulp with peeled and sliced up peaches :) A really lovely jam.

I like raspberry vinegar on my salad or on plain rice (like sushi kind of thing, instead of rice wine vinegar)
It's easily made, just soak the rasps in plain white vinegar with a little sugar or syrup added.
 

Suffolkrafter

Forager
Dec 25, 2019
209
178
Suffolk
Speaking of fruit (I think?), does anyone have any idea what on earth these things are?

They look like some kind of pod or fruit body of some sort, like a string of small misshapen under ripe bananas. They were among some reedmace in a pond, In the UK. Unfortunately I couldn't get any closer. They were around one to two inches in length.

On an unrelated note, I might try a sloe fruit leather, with varying amounts of sugar.
 

Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,848
866
Canada
Been grilling a lot of fruit this year. Not being terribly experimental, but the usuals ... pineapple, nectarines, peaches, apricots ... all work well. Pears too. Plums. Apples, are OK. Bananas. Plantains.

Not all of them are what you'd call indigenous to the UK, and I wondered what fleshier options there might be in the wild that might also hold together on a skewer with a few tomatoes, onions and courgettes.

I bet grapes would be good. Got to get them off the heat before they split maybe. Though that doesn't really apply to tomatoes, so, maybe not.
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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Blimey that didn't take long. Thanks! It just goes to show how easily a plant can throw you when you don't know it through it's entire life cycle. I'll add this to my ever increasing notes.

They used to roast the seeds and make a kind of coffee with them.
I get a decent-ish black dye from the roots, with care, usually it ends up grey :rolleyes3:
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
36,883
2,762
S. Lanarkshire
Been grilling a lot of fruit this year. Not being terribly experimental, but the usuals ... pineapple, nectarines, peaches, apricots ... all work well. Pears too. Plums. Apples, are OK. Bananas. Plantains.

Not all of them are what you'd call indigenous to the UK, and I wondered what fleshier options there might be in the wild that might also hold together on a skewer with a few tomatoes, onions and courgettes.

I bet grapes would be good. Got to get them off the heat before they split maybe. Though that doesn't really apply to tomatoes, so, maybe not.

Grapes are really good frozen :)

Parsnips work well on the grill, they go kind of sweetish. Same with cattail roots.

I can't think of any fruit that I would think to grill other than your suggestion about pineapples and bananas though....aubergines ?
Interesting kind of idea :)
 

Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
I like the frosts for 2 things: first, it knocks off the grape leaves for easier picking and second, seems to be the only way to get the grapes to really sweeten up. How that works, I should know the biochemistry but I have no clue at all.

Raspberry balsamic vinegar will wake up your taste buds!

Slice bananas sideways skins on to lay on the grill. Goop is simmered dark rum, butter, brown sugar and a little hit of cinnamon. Plate the bananas, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and slather all with a generous dollop of goop. Thanks to Chef Bob Blumer.
 

Suffolkrafter

Forager
Dec 25, 2019
209
178
Suffolk
How that works, I should know the biochemistry but I have no clue at all.
This is common to most fruit. There's a group of enzymes called amylases that convert starch to glucose. Under cold stress cells will increase expression and activation of amylase to produce glucose, to act as an antifreeze. Although it is also part of the natural ripening process. Ultimately, freezing destroys the cell and it's membrane, allowing the enzyme to also access starch that it would otherwise not have had access to, and consequentially, more glucose is formed.

Putting fruit in the freezer has the same effect.

Interestingly though, simply cooling the fruit actually slows the degredation of starch to glucose. I suspect this is one of many reasons that fruit shipped around on cold lorries are never as nice, and don't ripen so well.
 
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punkrockcaveman

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Jan 28, 2017
1,064
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yorks
Im hoping to get out and collect a bunch of Haws for a crack at fruit leathers.

In the garden the strawberry stopped a long time ago but the rasps are just starting to come through weirdly, I always thought these were early fruiters. We got dwarf apple, plum and pear trees this year that have taken well and will hopefully produce some fruit for us next year.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,883
2,762
S. Lanarkshire
Im hoping to get out and collect a bunch of Haws for a crack at fruit leathers.

In the garden the strawberry stopped a long time ago but the rasps are just starting to come through weirdly, I always thought these were early fruiters. We got dwarf apple, plum and pear trees this year that have taken well and will hopefully produce some fruit for us next year.

I grow Autumn fruiting rasps....much easier, because the canes fruit on the stems they grow this year, you don't have to carefully choose which canes to leave to grow for next years' fruit. You just cut them all down come Winter.
Mine have been fruiting for a good month now. They don't all come ripe at once, I pick every day or every second day.
 
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SaraR

Full Member
Mar 25, 2017
856
551
Ceredigion
I
@Robson Valley

It's such a shame the way that rasps dry out like that.

Again, the apple juice works, but the seeds are really hard and not good even after resoaking.
Best I find to do with them is to put them into a pot (or a pyrex bowl, one you can put a lid on because they froth in the microwave) and just and no more cover them in water, wine or juice of some kind. Then slowly bring them up to a simmer. Let them sit there for a few minutes and turn the heat off. Let it cool down and then strain and press them through a sieve.
Just get rid of the seedy bits altogether.

Make their pulp into a kind of coulis and it's excellent over cake or fruit.
Brilliant with black chocolate :)

If you sweeten it a bit, and freeze it, give it a good stir when it's sort of half frozen, then it makes a really good sorbet :).....and spoonfuls of that are excellent in a cold drink too.

Again, sweetened up a little, it is excellent in fresh yoghurt. It's also really good if you make jelly with it for trifle .....Son2, trifle, happy mix :)

I like raspberry jam, but there's only so much you can use, and I'm still getting over 250g a day of fruits from my canes. So, I'm freezing it in small bagfulls.

I always used to say ”next year I’ll try to do fruit leather with them instead of drying them whole”, but I always forgot! :) Now we eat them or freeze them. Maybe I should revisit the fruit leather idea, although this year we didn’t get that many raspberries, sadly.
 
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