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Andy Hamilton's hedgerow toffee apples recipe

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Jeremy Torrance web producer Jeremy Torrance web producer | 16:30 UK time, Friday, 7 October 2011

Guest blogger Andy Hamilton, forager extraordinaire, shares his mouthwatering recipe for hedgerow toffee apples.

The toffee apples you get at a fair ground are often full of all sorts of additives these are full of things that can even lower blood pressure. How good is that!


50g of assorted hedgerow fruit (haws, sloes, hips etc)
225g sugar
150ml water
half tsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup
25g butter
6 apples
6 fat twigs/sticks


Boil the hedgerow fruit in the water for 10 minutes until it starts to change colour. If using hips, sloes or anything that can't be mushed between your fingers easily then freeze overnight and thaw before using.

Strain through a muslin cloth and measure 110ml of the resulting water. It should've changed to a lovely redish/purplish colour (depending on what fruit you are using). Gently heat stirring in the sugar until fully dissolved. When it has bring to the boil and keep at as close to 138c as you can for 10 min. You'll be able to tell when it has done by dropping a bit of the semi-solid liquid into cold water, if it turns to a ball it is done.

Pull the stalks out of the apples and whack the sticks in. Roll them in the semi-solid until coated and repeat. Leave to harden on a grease proof paper.

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Watch Andy cooking this delicacy on Autumnwatch Live at 8.30pm, Friday 7 October on BBC Two or watch his top tips for foraging in the video above. If you've got any ideas for foraging or any wild food recipes we'd love to hear them, so post a comment below and get sharing.


  • Comment number 1.

    I'm going to try this at the weekend, I have just made my first batch of sloe gin but there's an abundance of haws and sloes near me. Thank you.

  • Comment number 2.

    cant wait to try these! oh what else can i make from autum berries???

  • Comment number 3.

    not sure when the butter and maple syrup go in?

  • Comment number 4.

    I thought they were going to post the recepie for the Hedgerow Vodka that Martin tried! :-(

  • Comment number 5.

    I love toffee apples and will definately be trying out this recepie...I would assume that the butter and maple syrup would go in with the juices and to form the toffee...fantastic idea to put up these recepies, but the cooking method could be a little more detailed. Glad to see there are other things you can do with sloes. Anymore recepies using sloes as I very rarely touch alcohol.

  • Comment number 6.

    We already make sloe vodka, what else is in Hedgerow vodka?

  • Comment number 7.

    Great stuff! There are loads of berries around the local fields hear in Windsor that are waiting to be rescued!
    I have a quick question about rose hips - I have read many suggestions re picking time and some say only pick after the first frost - I take it that this is not necessary as you guys have gone ahead already?

  • Comment number 8.

    I've already made hedgerow vodka and rowan & hawthorn berry gin - best kept for a year but also wild rose petal vodka. I have also made some crab apple and hedgerow jelly. The fruits from the hedgerows have been hawthorn berries, rowan, elderberries, sloes, blackberries, wild apples and even found some tiny golden plums.

  • Comment number 9.

    I just made 70 liters of apple wine, 60 liters of plum wine, a demijohn of elderberry, and two demijohns of redcurrant. I made sloe gin once, but considered it a waste of time and gin. Somebody told me to freeze the sloes to burst them rather than wasting time pricking them with a pin, but I'd rather just drink the gin.

  • Comment number 10.

    My recipe, will get it amended if I can. Quite right Amanda that the other ingredients go in with the juices. I wrote that up just moments before I set off for westonbirt so a bit rushed, sorry jillypalecek!

    Felicity - no, thank you for watching it.

    Cindy - have to keep watching for futher recipies, if not this year next!

    David and Rocco - Hmm...... its basically the fruit left over from elderberry port thrown into some vodka.

    Pawk - depends what you are picking for! first frost will soften them, matters a little less if boiling anyway. But you can always bung fruit in the freezer overnight to mimic the frost. Be one soon though I think, mark my words!

    Aurorabutterrfymoon - sound delicous!

    Davmcn, when's the party and are we all invited?

  • Comment number 11.

    Using hedgerow berries such as haws, sloes, hips etc to make seasonal toffee "apples" is a brilliant idea however I'm not sure that these autumn wonders

    "can even lower blood pressure"

    Enjoy the benefits of minerals and vitamins from local foraging but don't be fooled that these will help control and lower high blood pressure.

    Learn more about blood pressure
  • Comment number 12.


    Its now mid Novemeber and I'm still waiting for the first frosts before I make my sloe gin!


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