Get in a jam with fuch­sias!

Why not use the fruits from your hardy fuch­sias to make a de­li­cious pre­serve?

Garden News (UK) - - News -

The fruit or berries of fuch­sias are widely seen on hardy va­ri­eties planted in the gar­den. I nor­mally ad­vise re­mov­ing faded flow­ers and seed pods to en­cour­age the for­ma­tion of more flow­ers. How­ever, if you don’t re­move them, they’ll grow and ripen, form­ing berries that can vary in colour be­tween green and al­most black, and in size from a red­cur­rant to a small grape. Many peo­ple are un­aware that this fruit is ed­i­ble and in my gar­den the black­birds can of­ten be seen jump­ing up on my hardy fuch­sias to eat this trea­sure.

The taste of the berries isn’t un­pleas­ant, but is rather bland as they don’t de­velop a high sugar con­tent, nor are they par­tic­u­larly acidic or have a high tan­nin con­tent. The red fruit of the New Zealand species Fuch­sia

procum­bens has a slightly pep­pery taste and Fuch­sia splen­dens a slightly cit­rus one. You can find sev­eral recipes for mak­ing wine, jams, jel­lies and even sauces and rel­ish on the web. Here’s a widely used recipe for fuch­sia berry jam: 453g (1lb) sugar 2 ta­ble­spoons wa­ter (or ap­ple pectin, ap­ple juice or cider) Juice of 1 lemon 680g (1½lb) of ripe fuch­sia berries, washed Com­bine the sugar, wa­ter and lemon juice in a pan and cook over a low heat un­til the sugar dis­solves. Set aside and al­low to cool com­pletely. Add the berries gen­tly, fold­ing them in so they don’t break up too much. Bring to the boil. Boil un­til the mix­ture will set when tested on a plate. Seal in heated jars. Al­low to cool com­pletely be­fore eat­ing, then en­joy!

Red fruit from ‘Delta’s Sara’

The fruit of Fuch­sia procum­bens

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