Hedgerow Sorbet

This is far from the best year for wild fruits, but there are still some ripe pickings out there. Hawthorn berries and rose hips can be found in abundance, but I have struggled to find decent patches for elderberries, sloes and cherry plums in London.
There is still a lot that can be done with a few ingredients. Wild rose hips are one of my favourite fruits; they taste rich, sweet and sour all at the same time and are incredibly high in vitamin C.

I combined them with hawthorn berries and a few sloes to make this ‘hedgerow sorbet’. The result was delicious – a surprisingly intense and fruity sorbet.

Sorbet is not as difficult to make as I had presumed, so this recipe could be adapted for use with a whole range of wild syrup/ jelly recipes.

  • 500g rose hips
  • 500g hawthorn berries
  • 150g sloes
  • caster sugar

First put the fruit in a pan and cover with water then bring it to the boil. Simmer for 30 minutes, mash the fruit a bit, then leave to cool. Strain the mixture through a jelly bag or muslin overnight. If you are impatient like me you can strain it through a sieve, although there is apparently a risk of getting the irritating hairs from the rose hips in the syrup.

Measure the strained syrup and add an equal amount of caster sugar, simmer to dissolve the sugar then allow to cool. Place in a tub in the freezer for 4 hours until mostly frozen then break the mixture up using a fork or a food processor. Return to the freezer. This process may need to be repeated a few times until desired consistency is reached, although I was happy with the result after freezing for the second time.

If you feel the weather is too cold for eating sorbet try serving with some gin or vodka poured over to add a warming kick.

7 thoughts on “Hedgerow Sorbet

  1. Wow – looks great. Have seen amazing rosehips in the hedgerows up here in Northumberland so good to have a recipe we can use them for – especially like the idea of pouring gin over the sorbet – could be a good one for Christmas!

  2. Great recipe – I think I’ll give it a go. I’m learning a new patch this autumn but there’s barely anything to pick. Even the locals are commenting, so it isn’t just that I haven’t found the right spots. Just about the only things that seem to be doing well in Weardale are rose hips. Elder and blackberry are struggling, not many haws, and virtually no sloes. No sloe gin for me this year :(

    • Yes, it seems to be the same around the country. I am recognising the worth of the old adage ‘make hay while the sun shines’, I still have some sloes I froze from last years bumper crop, just wish I had stored and preserved more. Rose hips freeze well, if you pick a lot you can still use them a year after they were frozen.

      • You’re right there, and usually I do have a stash. Sadly for me I lost all my excess during a house move – it turns out a coolbox isn’t a great way to store frozen food after all

      • I noticed a lot starting to ripen on the heath, but many people came along and picked them before they were ripe, and so only the tops of the shrubs have any nice juicy ones (and plenty of them in some areas), but bringing a big ladder into the heath isn’t really convenient!

  3. Pingback: Berries-Wild Berry Sorbet

  4. I heard that in the UK sloes were rare this year..I even sent some back with a friend when she came to stay! We did OK here, enough for the year’s sloe gin but I have promised myself to be more adventurous next year having seen your ideas! Have also found lots of clumps of wild asparagus whilst out clearing jungle…can’t wait!

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