Redcurrants are an under-rated berry. Often left on the side of a plate at a Christmas party pudding or turned into a jelly that’s only used infrequently. Personally I find the sharp taste of redcurrants is a brilliant contrast to a sweet pudding or bake and this is a perfect flapjack recipe to make use of wild or homegrown redcurrants.
I’ve foraged these redcurrants locally during a nice walk and intend to make good use of them in this flapjack recipe.
Start by preparing a jam from your redcurrants. Place them into a pan and squish with a potato masher before stirring through sugar. Cook on a high heat and bring to the boil before you switch down to a simmer and cook slowly for 30 minutes or so.
Then move onto the flapjack. I love flapjack as it is a simple bake which is easily veganised or made gluten free!
Melt dairy free butter in a pan and add either golden syrup or vegan honey (made from dandelions this is another lovely foraging recipe). Keep stirring until the butter is melting and warm and then add Demerara sugar.
Add gluten free oats and mix through thoroughly to combine into a thick mixture. Layer a baking dish with greaseproof paper and pack in a firm bottom layer of the flapjack mix.
Allow the bottom layer to set a little before topping withe redcurrant jam and adding another thick layer of flapjack mix.
Sprinkle a small amount of Demerara sugar over the top and bake for approximately 20 minutes. When cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing to create individual servings.
I love this time of year when everything is in bloom. Even better is the fact that I can forage elderflower during a walk and use it in baking and cordials. This year I’ve looked for new ideas online and come across a recipe Elderflower Delight on River Cottage which I’ve altered to make vegan.
Using the recipe I found online o started by adding 700g caster sugar to a very large pan with 300ml of water and plenty of fresh lemon juice. Switch on the heat to a medium point and heat whilst stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.
Mix together 100g corn flour and 100ml of water into a smooth paste and pour into the liquid, stir through then add a tablespoon of pectin. Stir using a whisk and bring the mixture to the boil. When boiling the mixture will start to thicken. Turn the heat down to a simmer.
At this point it’s time to add the elderflower. Remove the flowers from the elderflower sprigs (approx 20 sprigs) and wrap into a tied up muslin bag or cloth. Place it into the mixture so it is underneath and continue to simmer for 20 minutes before removing the elderflower.
Once simmered you should have a very thick and gooey Turkish Y mixture. Whilst you allow it to cool a little bit line a large tray with baking paper and dust with a 50:50 mix of icing sugar and corn flour. Pour the mixture into the dish, cover with paper and leave to set in a cool, dry place. I left mine overnight in the pantry.
Once fully set and fairly rubbery dust with more icing sugar and cornflour mix. Cut into pieces and roll the sides in more sugar (in for a penny in for a pound) and then enjoy as a delicious summer sweet.
This gluten free and vegan sweets are lovely. I hope you enjoy them too.
I love cordial and having recently been getting into foraging I wanted to use some of my finds to make a sharp, sweet cordial I can enjoy as Autumn arrives.
Whilst foraging I came across and elder tree thick with elderberries and picked enough to fill about 2 small mugs. I gave the berries a really wash when home and set about cordial making.
Use a large pan similar to a jam pan and use a potato masher to mash the berries. Add about 500g sugar, 5 chopped and squeezed lemons and a teaspoon of citric acid powder to act as a preservative. Then fill the pan up with water and bring to the boil.
Once boiling the process is similar to making jam as you will need to reduce the heat and simmer slowly. Stir occasionally, keeping an eye out for the cordial starting to become a little syrup-ey.
Once it has a cordial consistency allow the cordial to cool slightly and then strain the mixture through a muslin cloth or bag and then bottle.
I made 4 70cl bottles of cordial and have been enjoying it with water and fizzy water.