A Modern Woman’s Approach to Fruit Picking

by Joanna Hazelton on September 27, 2012

in Grow Your Own

A Modern Woman's Approach to Fruit PickingOK, I’m going to have to admit it. I’ve never been one for getting my hands dirty in the garden. My sort of gardening is buying a few planters and sitting from the comfort of my lounger ‘advising’ my husband about what needs to be done.

However, I’m not completely inept in the garden. I can manage picking fruit from our fruit trees. And in the last few weeks I’ve had my work cut out with all the blackberries, pears, damsons and apples – all quite exhausting but it beats going to the gym!

Of course it would be nice to say I then take all this fruit into the kitchen, don my apron and spend hours baking – crumbles, cakes, tarts, jams, pies. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? But I’m afraid I have to admit it’s my husband that dons the apron in our house – when he’s not gardening that is!!

I have thought, however, of another great use for our home grown fruit that doesn’t involve cooking – cocktails! And I really can’t think of a better way to reap the benefits of all my hard work in the garden.

So I’ve been sifting through a variety of recipes and made a note of my favourite ‘garden’ fruit cocktails which I thought only right to share so you can sample their delights too.

Blackberry Smash (Serves 1)

4 blackberries
8 mint leaves
1oz fresh lemon juice
2 oz rye whiskey

Muddle the mint and blackberries in a cocktail shaker.
Add lemon juice, whiskey and ice and shake well.
Strain into glass and garnish with a blackberry.

Apple Martini (Serves 2)

4 oz vodka
2 oz apple liquor
2 oz apple puree

To make the apple puree:

1-2 apples peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 cup syrup (1 cup sugar, 1 cup water – bring to boil, simmer until sugar dissolves, cool)

Combine the apples and syrup in blender and puree until smooth – use as soon as possible as the apple will turn brown if left

Pour vodka, apple liquor and apple puree into cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Shake well for about 10 seconds.
Strain into chilled martini glass and garnish with apple slice.

Damson Gin

1lb washed damsons
6oz white granulated sugar
75cl bottle of gin
1 ltr or larger wide necked bottle with stopper

Wash damsons, throwing away bruised or bad fruit.
Prick fruit a few times with fork, put into the bottle and add sugar.
Fill bottle with gin and seal.
Give bottle a good shake every day until the sugar has dissolved.
Store in a cool, dark place for at least 3 months.

Pear Bellini with A Twist

3 ripe pears, peeled
1 tsp lemon juice
120g caster sugar
Cranberry juice
1 bottle of chilled champagne

Put pears and lemon in pan with 500ml of water and sugar.
Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until tender then cool.
Cut the flesh from 2 pears and puree with 2tbsp of the pear and lemon juice.
Chill.
Put 1 tbsp of pear puree into champagne glass.
Top up with champagne and a dash of cranberry juice.
Garnish with a sliver of pear. Yum!

There really is no better way to enjoy fruit from the garden – and so much more slimming than a crumble!

I thought I might branch out into distilling next; my husband is going to grow potatoes next year so that’s definitely on my list.

So why not check out Jack’s Grow Your Own section as well as our fabulous range of greenhouses to give you a helping hand – and you can enjoy your home grown fruit as much as me!

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