Along the Grapevine

Sea Buckthorn Jelly

24 Comments

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My seabuckthorn plants are flourishing, and the three female plants are producing far more berries than I can pick. They are also reproducing at an almost alarming rate, although the lawn mower has unwittingly taken care of some of the shoots coming from, I believe, the male plant. Their rate of growth is encouraging, and I expect some of the seeds will find their way into neighbouring properties, so foraging sea buckthorn in this area might become a reality before long.

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I have written about this remarkable shrub in an earlier post, but since then have learned some practical tips about how to harvest them. They are difficult to pick. They are indeed thorny, and the small berries are soft with a very thin skin, so as soon as you apply a little pressure when picking, they tend to collapse and squirt you with sticky juice. However, if a few branches are snipped off and put in the freezer for a day, they can then be removed from the branches quite easily. As the plants need some good pruning anyway, this is the perfect time to do it.

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If you find them in a local market, this is the way they will be displayed – thick clusters still on the branches.

The delicate leaves can also be removed to make a delicious tisane.

Seabuckthorn Jelly on Punk Domestics

As for the berries, I decided to make a jelly which would be an easy way to preserve them, and presumably a useful addition to my pantry. I used only one cup of berries, and did not worry too much if some of the woody bits attached to the baseย were still attached as it would all be strained after the first cooking.

To make the jelly, I covered the berries with water and cooked them until soft – about ten minutes. I strained them, added a little hot water to the pulp and strained them again.

For two cups of strained juice, I added three cups of organic sugar. This I brought to a boil and then simmered until it reached a temperature of 235 degrees F or 120 C. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you will know it is ready when it reaches the soft ball stage.

 

Pour into a jar and let cool. The amount of sugar in this means that it will keep for a few weeks, so I didn’t worry about processing it. I didn’t even remove the foam from the top because it too is just as tasty!

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The flavour of the sour raw berries is not appreciated by everyone, perhaps because it is so unfamiliar, but once cooked with sugar it has a fruity caramel taste. It makes a wonderful spread, but can also be used in baking, desserts, as a glaze or a sweetener for drinks. In short, anywhere you might use honey.

Linked to Fiesta Friday #94

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Author: Hilda

I am a backyard forager who likes to share recipes using the wild edibles of our area.

24 thoughts on “Sea Buckthorn Jelly

  1. I have never come across this Berry! Looks so pretty.. And the jelly sounds like a great idea.

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  2. Pingback: Seabuckthorn Gelato | Along the Grapevine

  3. This came out beautifully! While the taste may be unusual at first, I’m guessing it’s something that would grow on most of us (or at least me). Happy FF, and have a marvelous weekend! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  4. Critters don’t like these berries? Very different but I am sure delicious. Thanks for bringing your jelly to Fiesta Friday ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. Oh this is awesome!!! I found out about sea buckthorn berries while I was in Finland a few years back and we had a sea buckthorn berry creme brรปlรฉe and sorbet. It was amazing and since then I have been totally in love with these little vitamin C packed berries. This recipe is great and I love the gardening/picking tips. I think I might have to try and grow these one day when I have a final place of living ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing with Fiesta Friday. Have a great weekend.

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  6. I had never heard of sea buckthorn until now. I learnt something new.Thanks for sharing. Happy FF!

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  7. I was thinking that this jelly even looked like honey. I’ve never seen sea buckthorn before. If it crops up in my store, I will know what it is! Could you use it like tomatillos?

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  8. You are more likely to see it at Farmers’ Markets or agricultural fairs, but you will maybe find some products made from it in stores, not just jams but often cosmetics. Perhaps it could be used a bit like tomatillos in a sauce – I am still trying to figure out some more uses.

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  9. I would love to try this – I have heard of sea buckthorn but not had it. YOur jelly has such a beautiful color as well.

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  10. I have not heard of these berries. I would love to try this jelly on some delicious warm bread. Your recipe looks wonderful! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  11. I love the tip how you can pick the berries off, just brilliant! A very pretty jelly ๐Ÿ™‚

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  12. I wish I could find these berries. I did finally try the autumn olive berries. Very nice! I’m keeping my little tree for now.

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  13. What a beautiful jelly, is this fruit similar to grapes in texture? As that is how grape jelly usually comes out ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • You’re right. The texture of the jelly is very much like a grape one. The fruit is actually softer than a grape, and the skin much more delicate and easily broken. I think this is one reason you don’t see them sold commercially very often, but I did read that somewhere they are trying to develop ones that are easier to pick and store. I usually prefer the wild uncultivated sorts myself, but like grapes there would be advantages to this.

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  14. Pingback: Cranberry and Sea Buckthorn Sauce | Along the Grapevine

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