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Fant Wildife Recipe Book

Here you will find a selection of recipes presented by members of the Fant Wildlife Group at the annual produce show; Harvest Home. The Fant Wildlife Area was once part of the adjacent allotment garden; the rich fertile soil has encouraged fruit trees to thrive. If you search carefully you will find blackberries, apples, damsons, wild garlic and horseradish to name just a selection of the natural food which grows at the Fant Wildlife Area.

Blackberry Ripple Ice-cream

By John Callaghan

200g/7oz sweetened condensed milk
300ml/10fl oz double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp liquid glucose
200g/7oz Blackberries
2 tbsp caster sugar


  1. Put the blackberries in a pan with sugar and cook gently until you have a thick compot.
  2. Whisk the condensed milk, cream, vanilla and glucose together in a bowl until it forms soft peaks.
  3. Fold in the cooled blackberry compot to create a ripple effect.
  4. Transfer to a plastic container with a lid and freeze for 4 hours, or until firm.

Spiced Hedgerow Jelly

By Mrs Callaghan

2.3 kg (5lb) hedgerow fruits like elderberries, blackberries, crab apples, or damsons
450 ml water
5 cm (2 inch) fresh root ginger
4 cloves
Cinnamon stick


  1. Put the fruit ina preserving pan with the water and simmer for 30 minutes
  2. Allow the fruit to cool before training through a jelly bag overnight
  3. Measure the juice into a clean preserving pan.
  4. For every 600ml juice add 450g sugar.
  5. Tie the spices in a muslin cloth and add to the pan
  6. Stir well over the heat until the sugar dissolves
  7. Bring to the boil and cook until setting point is reached.
  8. Remove the spice bag
  9. Pour the jelly into clean jars and seal.

Elderberry and Apple Pie

By Hannah Daniell

350g (12 oz) elderberries
175g (6 oz) finely chopped apple
250g (9 oz) caster sugar
4 tablespoons plain flour
1 tablespoon butter
shortcrust pastry for case and to cover


  1. Mix together elderberries, apple, sugar and flour.
  2. Pour into unbaked pastry case. Dot filling with butter or margarine, and cover the top with shortcrust pastry.
  3. Bake at 200 C / Gas mark 6 for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 180 C / Gas mark 4. Bake until pie is done, about 30 minutes.

Blackberry Snow Queen

By Tessa Saunders

500ml Double Cream
1 tbsp Caster Sugar
1 tbsp Stem Ginger (from a jar) chopped
1 tbsp Stem Ginger Syrup (from the jar of stem ginger)
150g Ready Made Meringues, roughly broken up
Roughly mashed blackberries sweetened to taste


  1. Whisk the cream in a bowl until it reaches the stiff peak stage
  2. Fold in the caster sugar, chopped ginger and ginger syrup until evenly distributed
  3. Gently fold in the chunks of meringue
  4. Spoon alternate layers of the mixture and the mashed blackberries into a freezer proof container.
  5. Place in the freezer for at least 8 hours
  6. Before serving put in the fridge for approximately 15 minutes to soften slightly


Don’t sweeten the blackberries - the tartness of the fruit goes well with the sweet cream mixture. You can use any chopped dried fruit (cranberries & apricots work rather well) soaked in brandy or rum before stirring into the cream mixture. Finely chopped nuts are also nice either in the mixture or sprinkled on top.

Blackberry Brownies

By John Callaghan

175g caster sugar
175g plain chocolate broken into pieces
150g butter or margarine
100g plain flower
225g blackberries
100g chocolate chips


  1. Grease and line a 10cm (16inch) square tin
  2. Beat the eggs and sugar in a bowl
  3. Melt the chocolate and butter or margarine in a bowl over hot water or in the microwave
  4. Mix the egg and chocolate mixture together
  5. Stir in the flour and beet thoroughly
  6. Mix in the chocolate chips and blackberries
  7. Put the mixture in the prepared tin and bake at 180C / 350F for 25-20mins

Tip: Use frozen blackberries – they stay whole in the mixture.

Nettle Ale

By John Callaghan

6l water
A small carrier bag of nettle tops, washed
Juice of 1 lemon, strained
Juice of 1 orange, strained
750g caster sugar
30g cream of tartar
5g yeast


  1. Bring the water to the boil in a large pan.
  2. Add nettles, stir, then remove the pan from the heat and leave to infuse for at least an hour until it is at blood temperature.
  3. Carefully strain the nettle liquid through a colander lined with a large piece of unbleached muslin into a large brewing bucket or pan. Once the liquid has filtered through, squeeze the muslin to get the maximum amount of liquid into the bucket.
  4. Gradually add the sugar, stirring constantly to ensure it is thoroughly dissolved, then add the cream of tartar, and lemon and orange juice.
  5. Finally, once the mixture is tepid, stir in the yeast. Cover and leave for 2-3 days in a warm place, until it’s obviously fermenting.
  6. Remove any scum which has risen to the top in fermentation and siphon the beer into steril-ised bottles and seal with corks.
  7. Leave for at least a couple more days or up to a month before drinking.

Damson Jam

By Margaret Gouge

3Lb Damsons
4Lb Sugar
Small Amount of Water


  1. Place the damsons and sugar in a saucepan with a small amount of water and bring gently to a simmer.
  2. As the stones appear lift them out with a spoon.
  3. Once the mixture begins to thicken test for the setting point by putting a small blob on a cold saucer. If it forms a skin on top the jam is ready.
  4. Carefully spoon the mixture into sterilised jars and let it cool slightly before screwing the lids on.

Blackberry Mallow Ice Cream

By Hannah Danniell and her Mum

200ml blackberry puree
175g marshmallows
300ml whipped cream
25g icing sugar


  1. To make the puree, heat the blackberries with a little sugar to taste. Liquidise the berries and sieve out any pips.
  2. Chop the marshmallows and melt them into the blackberry puree. Allow the mixture to cool.
  3. Mix in the cream and icing sugar.
  4. Freeze until set.

Tip: Any soft fruits can be used for this recipe.

Mint Sorbet

By John Callaghan

6 large sprigs of mint
6 tablespoons sugar
300mls water
Juice of one large lemon
1 egg white
4 sprigs of mint to decorate


  1. Heat the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Add the mint and leave it to steep in the syrup off the heat for 20-30minutes.
  3. Strain the liquid before adding the lemon juice.
  4. Freeze until semi-frozen – approximately 45mintes.
  5. Beat the egg white until it forms stiff peaks and fold into the semi-frozen mix.
  6. Return to the freezer for 1hour.
  7. Spoon into serving glasses and decorate with the mint sprigs.

Nettle Pudding

By Ian Hay

Nettle Pudding is officially Britain’s oldest recipe. The creation, from 6000BC, was a staple of Stone Age man. Archaeologists have found nettle residue in cooking vessels. Originally it would have been made by mixing nettles and other leaves such as dandelion and sorrel, with barley flour, salt and water.

Serves 6

1 gallon of young nettle tops
2 leeks or 2 onions
2 heads of broccoli or 1 small cabbage
1/4lb rice


  1. Wash the nettle tops and clean the vegetables well.
  2. Chop the broccoli and leeks and mix with the nettles.
  3. Mix all the vegetables together, place in a muslin bag and tie tightly.
  4. Boil in salted water, long enough to cook the vegetables, the time varying according to the size of the chopped vegetables.
  5. Serve with gravy or melted butter.


By Ian Hay

Serves 6

3-4 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish
1 teaspoon English mustard made up to a paste
1-2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
200ml double cream


  1. Cut a largish length (about 8cm) of thick horseradish root.
  2. Wash thoroughly, and then using a sharp knife, slice off its thick skin.
  3. Grate it on the second finest grater - like Parmesan - making sure that you have a box of tissues close to hand.
  4. Measure the finely grated horseradish into a mixing bowl - don't worry if you are not exact, you can always add more later.
  5. Mix in the mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper, followed by the cream.
  6. Whisk until it forms very soft peaks then chill or serve as required.


You can add sugar to taste or replace the cream with creme fraiche. You can also serve it un-whisked as a runny sauce for grilled salmon.

Autumn Pudding

By Lyn Brockway

Serves 4-6

700g (1 1/2 lb) mixed autumn fruit, such as apples, blackberries, plums, prepared.
25g (1oz) light soft brown sugar.
8-10 thin slices of day-old bread, crusts removed.
Fresh fruit and mint sprigs, to decorate.


  1. Stew the fruit gently with 60-90ml (4-6 tbsp) water and the sugar until soft but still retaining their shape. The exact amounts of water and sugar depend on the ripeness and sweetness of the fruit.
  2. Meanwhile, cut a round from one slice of bread to neatly fit the bottom of a 1.1 litre (2pint) pudding basin and cut 6-8 slices of the bread into fingers about 5cm (2inches) wide. Put the round at the bottom of the basin and arrange the fingers around the sides, overlapping them so there are no spaces.
  3. When the fruit is cooked, and still hot, pour it gently into the basin, being careful not to disturb the bread framework. Reserve about 45ml (3tbsp) of the juice. When the basin is full, cut the remaining bread and use to cover the fruit so a lid is formed.
  4. Cover with foil, then a plate or saucer which fits just inside the bowl and put a weight on top. Leave the pudding until cold, then put into the refrigerator and chill overnight. To serve, run a knife carefully around the edge to loosen, then invert the pudding into a serving dish. Pour the reserved fruit over the top. Serve cold with cream. Decorate with fruit and mint sprigs.

Damson Cheese

By Fran Callaghan

For the benefit of the uninitiated, damson cheese is not a cheese at all. It is more like a pudding jelly which can be sliced. It has the consistency of a smooth pâté and can also be eaten with game and lamb.

Makes 5-6lbs

6lbs damsons
˝ pint water


  1. Remove stalks and leaves from the fruit and wash well.
  2. Put the damsons and water in a pan, cover and simmer until soft.
  3. Rub cooked fruit through a sieve removing any stones and skins.
  4. Weigh the fruit pulp and return to the pan.
  5. Boil rapidly until the pulp is thick and reduced by about one-third.
  6. Add 1lb of sugar for every 1lb of weighed pulp.
  7. Continue cooking, stirring all the time, until the spoon leaves a firm line in the cheese.
  8. Pour the cheese into straight sided pots or jars and seal tightly.

Damson & Apple Jelly

By Fran Callaghan

Makes 3lbs

1kg (2lb) damsons
1kg (2lb) apples
1 ˝ litres (1 ˝ pints) water
Approx 1kg (2lb) sugar


  1. Rinse the damsons and place in a large pan.
  2. Cut the apples into pieces and place in the pan.
  3. Pour over the water and bring to the boil.
  4. Simmer until the fruit is very soft.
  5. Strain through a jelly bag and leave to drip for 2 hours or overnight.
  6. Measure the juice, pour into a pan and bring to the boil.
  7. Add 1lb of sugar for every 1pint of juice.
  8. Stir until sugar dissolves.
  9. Bring to the boil and simmer until setting point is reached.
  10. Remove any scum and pour into prepared jars.

Elderflower Champagne

By Andy Penfold

4 large heads of elderflower (picked on a sunny day)
6 pints cold water
2 pints boiling water
1 ˝ lbs granulated sugar
Juice and rind of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar


  1. Remove any insect and the thick stalks from the flowers. Do not wash the flowers.
  2. Place the sugar in a large bowl and cover with 2 pints of boiling water.
  3. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  4. Add 6 pints of cold water and the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Stir well and leave to stand for 48hours.
  6. Strain through a fine sieve into strong bottles with screw tops. Leave an inch gap at the top of each bottle.
  7. It will be ready to drink in 6 weeks.

© Fant Wildlife Group Reg Charity Number: 1088852