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The North side of the hill, somewhat counterintuitively, is more sheltered than the South and West faces. Not only are the best rowan trees on that side, but I discovered today there are also a number of generously endowed crab apples. Shortly afterwards, I discovered that the pockets on my brown coat will take 2 and a quarter pounds of crab apples...

So, what to make? I still have a lot of rowan berries in the freezer, so rowan and crab jelly is possible (only, we already made 5 jars, and it's not something you want huge amounts of at a time). Or crabapple and mint jelly? Or just crabapple?

Also, the blackberries on that side of the hill are ripening already, even though the ones over the other side are still small and green. I would have picked some today only I didn't have anything to put them in except poo bags, and for one thing, blackberries are too squishy for bags, and for another, even though I know that brand new clean poo bags are really just bags, somehow there is an irrational ick factor to putting food in them.

Oh and the runner beans have started cropping, even though the poles blew over and I left them about 2 weeks in the rain before standing them back up again yesterday. Some of the beans were strangely bent, but they taste OK. Painted Lady is a very tolerant variety of bean, and also it has nice red-and-white flowers that the bees like.



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
10th Aug, 2009 22:18 (UTC)
I found a spiced rowan berry jelly that looked nice if you're interested and I know I have some crab apple recipes somewhere that I can search out.
10th Aug, 2009 23:20 (UTC)
Hmm, spiced rowan jelly sounds nice, would be interested!
11th Aug, 2009 23:10 (UTC)
Spiced Rowan Jelly


4lb rowan berries
2lb crab apples
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp whole cloves
cold water to cover
12 oz granulated sugar for every pint of juice for a sharp jelly
or 1lb per pint for a sweet jelly


1.Wash the berries and the apples, roughly chop the apples without peeling or coring.
2. Put the fruit in a large pan with the spices and cover with cold water.
3. Bring slowly to the boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes or until the fruit is soft and pulpy.
4. Strain through a jelly bag over night.
5. Measure the juice and return to the pan, adding the appropriate amount of warmed sugar.
6. Heat very gently until the sugar has dissolved then bring to the boil.
7. Boil rapidly until the setting point is reached – usually after about ten minutes or at 110C or when a little jam sets & wrinkles on a cold saucer.
8. Skim any scum off and pot into sterilised jars.

Crab Apple & Rose Geranium Jelly


4lb crab apples
2 pints cold water to cover
8 to 12 rose geranium leaves
1lb granulated sugar for every pint juice


As above, adding the rose geranium leaves to the apples in step 2.
12th Aug, 2009 09:47 (UTC)
Thanks! The rose geranium idea is particularly intriguing.
12th Aug, 2009 20:19 (UTC)
Now got the rowans draining, and the crab apples and rose geraniums stewing!

I've decided to do blackberry liqueur again instead of rowan, on the grounds that the blackberry stuff was quite nice last year.

There are so many rowan berries out there that I may have to try the rowan marmalade recipe I linked to above as well.
12th Aug, 2009 22:52 (UTC)
... and now we have a further 5 jars of rowan jelly, plus a bowl of crabapple and geranium still draining...

I do plan to make some apple and mint. And some blackberry. And of course, there will be chutney later.

Aaagh, not enough jars!
12th Aug, 2009 19:46 (UTC)
I'm quite a big fan of crabapple jelly myself, but have yet to find a convenient tree around here.
12th Aug, 2009 20:16 (UTC)
That's a pity. Parks should plant crabapples for this sort of thing!

There are 4 easily accessible trees that I know of here, and they are all different. I suspect they grew from discarded cores.

Annoyingly, I do have a decorative apple tree in the garden, but it never sets fruit. Maybe I should hoik it and replace with one that does.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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