Once more I tried to use the product of edible wild plants. Now it the perfect time to try this recipe or to look for more recipes with this unusual fruit. The jam is really good, you can use this over your bread for breakfast but you can use this as sauce to corned beef.
This make a nice present as well!
Cornelian cherry, European cornel or Dogwood (lat. Cornus mas), is a species of flowering plant in the dogwood family Cornaceae and its fruits have are not cherries after all.
They are native to southern Europe and southwest Asia.
The small yellow flowers (5–10 mm diameter), with four petals, appear in clusters of 10–25 together in the late winter, much before the leaves appear. For this reason the species is grown as an ornamental plant.
The fruit edible is an oblong red drupe 2 cm long and 1.5 cm in diameter, containing a single seed ripen in mid to late summer after it falls from the tree.
Ripe fruits can be used for making jam, but also can be eaten dried.
Unripe fruits can be pitted just as olives.
The easiest way to collect the fruits is to place napkins or towel under the bush/tree and shake the plant. The fruits will fall down. Now you have only to assemble them, place them in water and collect only the intact fruits.
For the jam you need:
- 1000 g fresh ripe cornelian cherries
- 150 ml water
- 1000 g sugar
- 350 ml sweet white wine
- As it would be too difficult to discard the seed by hand, I suggest to place the washed fruits in a pot with the water. Bring to boil, cover and let sit for one hour.
- Once they cool down, smash them in a colander (2 mm holes) in small patches. You’ll have cornelian cherry puree in the end.
- Place the pulp in a big pot, add wine and sugar. Bring to boil.
- Simmer until you see that the jam begins to harden if you drop a teaspoon of the jam on a cold, dry plate. I had to cook mine for about 30 minutes.
- Since cornelian cherry is one of those fruits with a high content of pectin, you need to put marmalade into jars when it’s still hot. Close the jars; place the upside-down for 5 minutes, invert them and let cool down completely.
Variants: add cinnamon, vanilla or honey just before canning.