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.