Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Fruit picking and subsequent baking

I only have one memory of fruit picking as a child and that was with my Aunty in South Wales.  We picked strawberries, blackberries and raspberries growing wild in fields near to her house.  We went to Ireland quite a lot in holidays where I only remember picking apples from another aunty's garden and so I can't say that this very British past time reminds me of my childhood.  However, this was the first time we took our children and I hope it will become a Summer tradition we will maintain.

For our first foray into the world of fruit picking, we went to a Fruit farm and collected 2 varieties of plums; Jubilee and Victoria.
We discovered (through tasting) that the Victoria plums were sweeter and collected more of those.

It really is an activity for all the family even Michael was able to help with the tasting and Daddy was in charge of quality assurance.  The girls were chief pickers although towards the end, the bag was very heavy!
 The picking would be nothing without the eating and the question suddenly arose of how on earth can we eat 1kg of plums?!  I haven't made much pastry or many pies before but I attempted a short crust pastry recipe using some blackberries I picked which grow wild at the back of our flat (I suppose it wasn't our first fruit picking outing if we count last years blackberry picking but that did seem like quite a minor introduction).  I didn't roll the pastry thin enough on the bottom and so didn't have enough for the lattice on the top.

 But when served with ice cream , it really didn't matter!

My next endeavour was much more successful although the cake did dip in the middle.  I found a recipe for a plum sponge which used 4 eggs- in hindsight, I think I will use a different one with only 2 eggs as this took 1 hour 20 mins to fully bake.  It was however, sooooo good!

Finally, another first for me, I made jam and chutney!  I followed the recipe's closely for both and they seem to be the right consistency and colour.  The whole endeavour took up a lot of time last week as each jam/ chutney require lots of peeling/ de-stoning, chopping, stirring and cooling etc.  But first tastes are very good and it's a start on my Christmas presents.
 I suppose it may not be seen as traditional crafts but definitely new to me and certainly in the home-making tradition which is what this blog is also all about :D.