October forage of the month with Ruby Taylor

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Posted Oct 10 2019 by Ruby Taylor of Native Hands
October forage of the month : blackberries

Ruby Taylor of Native Hands shares her forage of the month for October with a delicious fruit leather recipe we can’t wait to try…


Fruit leather is a really popular snack and easy to carry around with you. But don’t buy it in the shops because it’s incredibly simple to make your own. Now is the time to make it, when there are so many fruits to forage for. All you need is apples and berries.

Here’s the recipe for one of my favourite combos: apple and blackberry fruit leather. I like to use dessert apples as a base, as they give ‘body’ & then no added sweetener is needed. Scroll down for more berry ideas…

Ingredients

These are approximate and you can vary this according to taste.

  • 6 dessert apples
  • 4 handfuls of blackberries (shake off any bugs but don’t wash the berries)

Method

Peel, core and slice the apples thinly. Put about 1cm of water in a pan & add the apples & berries. Simmer gently, just til the apples are soft. Mash it all up together (if you don’t like blackberry pips, you could push it all through a sieve). If you like a raw option, you could just put it all in a food processor, having cored the apples first.

Line a cookie tray with baking parchment and spread the fruit mash to a depth of about half a centimetre. Put the tray in a very low fan oven (or in a food dehydrator, if you have one, or even leave out in the breeze on a warm day) until it’s leathery. This can take upwards of 12 hours, but check it from time to time. When it’s dried enough, cut or tear into pieces and store in an airtight container.

October forage of the month: berries for fruit leather

Other berries

It’s also great to improvise with other hedgerow fruits like hawthornsloeswild plums and so on, added to an apple base. Use in similar proportions to the recipe above.

Hawthorn: simmer the red berries in a little water til soft (about 15 mins), then push through a coarse sieve or colander, with the back of a wooden spoon, to separate the fruity mash from the large pips. Add to the cooked apple.

Sloes: I like to roast these separately and then add them to the cooked apple once I’ve removed the sloes’ stones. Roasting seems to sweeten them. Use these sparingly in your fruit leather as they have a strong presence.

Wild plums: halve, remove stones and cook with the apples. Or you might find it easier to remove the stones once they’re cooked.

Shared from an original post on Ruby’s Native Hands blog available here.


Ruby Taylor of Native HandsAbout the author

Ruby Taylor of Native Hands has been a maker since she was knee-high, and a teacher for over 20 years. She runs popular courses in Wild Basketry and Wild Pottery using foraged materials in the woods. She has experience of a wide range of basketry techniques and also works as part of a team teaching ancient crafts and technologies.