Cook, Gather
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The first days of Autumn

A friend and I took a gentle walk into the country other day.  We enjoyed the sense of freedom you can find in being just a little bit lost.  Within an hour we’d left behind suburbia and found ourselves crossing field boundaries, and waterways, walking along winding single track lanes, and letting the landscape be our guide.

I collected handfuls of wild fruits which were growing abundantly in the hedgerows.  i plan to use these for winter syrups, jams and pies.  It’s a particularly good year for elderberries, haws, and sloes.  Next weekend I will head out here again and collect haws, and brambles.

Short crust pie with wild apples and brambles

For this recipe I followed a basic sweet short crust pastry recipe, but instead of plain white flour I used 80% white, and 20% spelt flour. I also used golden castor sugar instead of icing sugar.  I didn’t get a chance to identify the two varieties of apple I collected on our walk. They were quite small and very sharp, so I sprinkled some Demerara sugar over the top, to take the edge off their sharpness.  The pie cooked well, although next time I will make more pastry, and use more fruit, as this pie dish is quite large.  The pie was delicious and the sweet/sharp balance was perfect – mirroring the cooler/hazy days of autumn.  I will definitely make it again next weekend.




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