Foraged blossom, stone fruit syrup and sticky date cake

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Our greengage blossom is just opening for the vernal equinox.

I love this time of year, when the hedgerows around about become billowing white clouds of stone fruit blossom: Damsons, gages, bullace, wild plums and sloes. It is very transient, but beautiful.

A while ago I wrote a post sharing my discovery that plum blossom has a surprising strong scent (you probably already knew that, but I’d missed it before) and that plum blossom has long been used to make a wonderful steam-distilled hydrosol. This sweet, light floral essence has many uses from facial spritzer, laundry/room freshener to aromatherapy and skin inflammation/irritation soother.

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The damson trees growing in the hedgerow are already shedding their petals

So, amid the current advice to both stay at home and get outside to enjoy fresh air and nature, it seemed like a perfect chance to do a spot of early hedgerow foraging and then revisit the possibilities of plum (or mixed stone fruit) blossom products*.

My intention was to have a go making some Wild Plum Blossom Syrup, so that at close quarters I could capture and enjoy that delicate almond scent from the stone fruit blossom.

I found a simple recipe for it by Katherine Taylor here, but I’ll describe the steps I took as well (in case it disappears).

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Gathered blossom ready to add to the syrup

Since this was an exploratory test, I prepared only a small amount of syrup using a ratio of 100g sugar to 100ml of water. I just boiled a kettle and poured the water into a Pyrex measuring jug, added the sugar and stirred the mixture until the sugar had completely dissolved.

I left jug on the side while I went out to the garden to collect a good handful of blossom. (See how easily the recipe scales up for each handful of flowers.) It is a good idea to then leave the blossom in a bowl for a short while to allow bugs, e.g. pollen beetles, to walk out of the flowers.

In her foraging travels Katherine uses a thermos flask filled with a warm syrup as her receptacle for the clean (ie bug-free) blossom. This is sealed and left for 24hrs. I used a thermos for this stage too. Next day I strained the syrup into a swing-top preserve bottle (bit of spillage unfortunately – note to self: use a funnel next time!).

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Essence of Spring: Wonderfully aromatic sweet plum blossom syrup

The syrup smells so very enticing and it put me in mind of sticky Persian syrup cakes. So it was a nature progression to go on to make a cake to be drizzled with my lovely blossom syrup.

I used this sticky date cake recipe as a guide and then, while it was hot, I skewered the top and poured plum syrup generously all over it.

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The syrup is brilliant when used as a drizzle over cakes, like this sticky date cake

It’s really more of a pudding and is excellent warm, but I cut it up like a tray bake and stored the remainder in the fridge overnight. A day later and it tastes even better and is easier to handle.

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And tomorrow I believe I will be scaling the syrup recipe up to make more!

#StayAtHome #StopTheSpread

*P.S Other things you can make with plum blossom are:

Plum Blossom Ice Cream  and  Plum Blossom Cordial

About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
This entry was posted in Food, Foraging, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Foraged blossom, stone fruit syrup and sticky date cake

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    This sounds wonderful (esp. if someone else does all the work, hehe)! Happy Spring!

  2. Cathy says:

    Ooh, what a lovely flavour that must be! I have done similar with elderflower. I need to find some wild plum trees! 😉

  3. Tina says:

    How fun and more importantly, delicious. That cake looks wonderful! I’m baking a lot right now…and bird watching. Stay safe.

  4. shoreacres says:

    We’re a little short of blossoms just now — most have come and gone — but the cake recipe looks wonderful. I may give that a try, although I probably will wait until we’re released from captivity, since me and a cake confined in the same space will lead to an unfortunate end for the cake!

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