The seasons are definitely turning and it is so incredible to be watching it all at such close hand. Ashdown Forest seems to sigh as Summer leaves and the heat from the chalky footpaths has evaporated into beautiful dewy mounds of bracken. It is so easy to imagine Piglet and Pooh in this setting where it was set, especially when our little Piglet is busy collecting pine cones! Perfect for a few Christmas decorations or an indulgent fire. So in the spirit of collecting the Autumn fruits and being new to this foraging lark, I persuaded my unsuspecting father into a hunter gatherer expedition and was lucky to share his abundant countryside knowledge. We were alarmed by the sloes even more determindedly hiding and very sparse on the hedgerows. So feeling a little helpless I was guided by some wonderful advisors on all things rural on twitter and led in the direction of Plum Vodka. As the plums come to the end of their season we decided that since the hedgerows seemed rather bare it might be time to reap the benefits of the Farmer's Market and kilner jar in hand I shall be filling it with plum jam and the lethal sounding plum vodka! Here our recipes for a wonderful weekend of home brewing and stewing!
Plum Vodka recipes vary, but this is the one we have chosen to follow. First things first, sterilise your jars before you set sail. In all the recipes it states add half the amount of caster sugar to plum weight. Place the halved and stoned plums in a pan. Then add 75 cl of vodka or every 500g and bring very carefully and slowly to simmer and dissolve the sugar. Other recipes state that you only need pour sugar, then vodka over the halved and stoned plums in a kilner jar and shake. It's up to you! Or try brandy instead of vodka for a different twist. Shake regularly at first and then once a week. After three months strain through muslin into a fresh bottle and enjoy...just in time for New Year!!
Any plums left over try this delicious looking plum chutney recipe...yum! http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1553649/richly-spiced-plum-chutney
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