Archive for November, 2011

November 8, 2011

Sea buckthorn berries make good jam!

by Ciaran Burke

Top Fruit, Soft Fruit and Strange Fruit

I was getting ready to do a talk to the North Mayo Garden Club today, and as I was going through my presentation I remembered that I had a few pots of delicious apple and sea buckthorn jam left. Sea buckthorn berries are a super health food; one small berry can have a Vitamin C content equal to that of six oranges, packed with atioxidants and a number of omega oils, it is a wonder fruit. It is also a wondeful tasting berry. Eaten straight from the bush it may be a bit sharp for many peoples’ tastes, but blended with juices or as an ingredient in cooking it is delicious, unique and colourful.

Sea Buckthorn berries - Hippophae rhamnoides

The first of our bushes that we planted gave us a good crop this year, or to be more specific the female plant cropped well. We originally planted two varieties, Rudolph, a male to pollinate, and Raisa a female to fruit, both purchased in Finland while on holidays three years ago. Last year we had a few berries but this year we have lots in the freezer and enough to make jam. We have since planted five more female varieties, we are sure Rudolph will be up to the job, and are looking forward to great crops in the coming years.

To make the flavour of this year’s berries go further, I  mixed the berries with apple to make jam. It turned out great, it is one of my favourite jams, sea buckthorns are one of my favourite berries. Below is the recipe that I used for the jam. I am going to take  a jar with me to my talk tonight so that people can have a taste of sea buckthorn, for most it will probably be their first time. Perhaps some gardeners might be inspired to grow these great plants.

Apple and Sea Buckthorn Jam

Jar of home made Apple and Sea buckthorn Jam

900ml of sea buckthorn berries

3 litres of peeled and chopped desert apples

1 Kg of sugar

300 ml of water

1. Cook the berries, water and apples over a low heat for about fifteen minutes or until the apple is soft.

2. Slowly add the sugar, stirring well to ensure the fruit dissolves.

3. Turn heat up and cook the jam for about fifteen or twenty minutes.

4. Spoon the jam into sterilized glass jars and tighten lids immediately. (Wash used jam jars with soapy water, then dry off and place in cold oven an heat to 100 degrees celcius).

North Mayo Garden Club, talk tonight Tuesday 8th of November- Top Fruit, Soft Fruit and Strange Fruit- a talk by Ciaran Burke. Venue Merry Monk, Killala Road, Ballina, Co. Mayo, Ireland. 8 pm.

Talk will also be given to Claregalway  GIY on Wednesday 23rd November at Arches Hotel, Claregalway, Co. Galway at 8 pm.

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