Folkestone Jam Sunday 15th September

We travelled to Folkestone on Sunday 15th September to lead a foraging walk and jam making workshop in collaboration with Custom Folkestone, led by artist/chef Cherry Truluck. It was a beautiful day – the last throes of summer – and we met our foraging crew on the harbour at Custom. The workshop was part of preparations for ‘Something Held in the Mouth’ a 4 day festival about the poetic and politics of food.

Madeleine Hodge, Folkestone based artist and curator had researched a route fro us to walk; first visiting ‘secret’ community gardens perched on the hill above the harbour; then walking along the top and onwards through the Warren. In the community garden we rescued some green tomatoes from the compost heap before walking on and finding our first real pickings: extraordinarily red rosehips with a view. The Warren was full of blackberries, and we walking and picked, walked and picked our way through down towards the sea.

Maddy had a destination in mind for us – a lone apple tree – unusually close to the sea that we arrived at hot and ready for a pause. We gathered windfalls and collected a few apples from the tree too.

Our route back to the harbour looped along residential streets, set back slightly from the front. Here we found crab apples and rowan berries – and more rosehips too.

Back at Custom we laid out our collective pickings – loading a table with the bounty of the walk. We decided to make a blackberry jam a hedgerow jelly and a tomato and apple chutney.

Folkestone hedgerow jelly:

Apple, Rowan, Rosehip, Sloe, Elderberry, Hawthorn, Crab Apple.

Wash and pick over the fruit. Cover with water in a large pan and boil until fruit is soft. Mash well and then strain liquid through a muslin. For each litre of liquid add 900g of sugar. Mix well and heat over a low heat until dissolved. Bring to the boil until the jelly reaches setting point (220 f). Pour into sterilised jars and seal.

Folkestone Blackberry jam

wash and pick over fruit. For every kilo of blackberries add a kilo of sugar. Heat over a low heat until sugar has dissolved, then boil. Add the juice of a lemon and boil until set.

Folkestone chutney

Apple, tomato, onion, ginger, elderberry, Alexanders, rosemary

Peel core and chop apples, onions and tomatoes, wash and pick over elderberries. For every kilo of fruit add 100ml of vinegar (we used malt) and cook until the fruit starts to soften. Add the spices and 150g of sugar for every kilo of fruit and cook on a low heat to dissolve the sugar. If it seems a little dry add a splash more vinegar. Bubble over a medium heat until the sauce thickens and the spoon leaves a trail through the chutney in the pan.