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Japanese Knotweed Recipes

As you will have seen in my recent article on Japanese Knotweed (https://edible-leeds.blogspot.com/2019/04/japanese-knotweed-terribly-terrific.html) there is a plethora of fantastic and tasty culinary uses for it. I hope this page will inspire you to get creative with this versatile plant. I'll be adding more recipes in due course. **Please note: Japanese Knotweed is classed as highly invasive and failure to dispose of any remnants properly could result in prosecution. If you find yourself with any remnants after prepping it boil them for 10 minutes, leave to dry and then incinerate.

     
Japanese Knotweed, Sweet Woodruff & Rowan Shoot Tart. 

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry:
250g Plain flour
125g Unsalted butter (cubed)
1 Large Egg
40g Icing sugar
Pinch of fine sea salt

Sieve the flour & icing sugar onto a clean work surface & add the salt. Make a well in the centre, add butter & egg yolks & using your fingers mix together the butter and egg until sticky and combined. Once well mixed, start incorporating the flour & icing sugar until you form a dough, roll into a ball, wrap in cling film and pop in fridge for 30-40 minutes. Remove dough & roll out on a floured surfaced to desired thickness. Place in a tart tin or earthenware tart dish, prick the base with a fork, line with baking parchment, fill with 'baking beans' (not baked beans!!) and blind bake for  approx 10-15 mins at 170 - 180C. Remove the parchment with the baking beans and cook for a further 10 minutes or until golden and cooked through

(* Blind bake is where you line the inside of the pastry bases with grease-proof parchment add dried beans/peas/lentils and part bake).

Creme Patissiere:

200ml milk
50ml double cream
3 free range egg yolks
20g plain flour
Sweet Woodruff
Rowan Shoot Syrup
Japanese Knotweed & Maple Syrup Puree

Place milk, cream, a quantity of dried Sweet Woodruff and Rowan Shoot Syrup in a pan and heat gently until just boiling, remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool, strain, squeezing out all the lovely flavours from the sweet woodruff material. Whisk egg yolks, flour and sugar in a bowl until fluffy and pale. Reheat the milk and cream gently until steaming and then pour on to the egg, sugar, flour, whisking as you do so. Pour all contents back into pan and heat gently to approx 82 degrees, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens: it's ready when it coats the back of your spoon, be very careful not to overheat or the egg content will scramble. Remove from heat, dust with icing sugar or place a disk of greaseproof paper on top to prevent a skin forming. Once cool, add puree of knotweed, combine well and then pour mix into pastry case. Add candied knotweed pieces and dust with cacao powder (optional).


Japanese Knotweed & Star Anise Jelly: 
 

1kg Japanese Knotweed Shoots  (leaves removed)
1 Litre Cold Water
50ml Lemon Juice 
800g Sugar (with pectin)

Wash and chop Knotweed. Place in a pan with a small amount of water, bring to a slow boil and simmer until soft (5-10 mins). Pour contents into scalded muslin cloth, tie and leave to drip for approx 2 hours. 
Into a jam pan add the liquid, sugar, lemon juice and 3 star anise, bring to a steady boil ensuring sugar is dissolved and then turn up the heat and boil rapidly until it reaches setting point (you can test for setting point by placing a small amount of the jelly on a cool plate and if a skin begins to form when you blow on it it should be ready). An alternative is to watch the bubbles as it boils, they will become more viscous as excess liquid is evaporated, you will get the hang of it after making jellies a few times, it's all part of the learning curve!. Once setting point has been reached, pour contents into clean, sterilised jars, adding a star anise to each jar, seal and leave to cool. 


Japanese Knotweed & Birch Syrup Puree


This recipe is simple & delicious. You must use the freshest, youngest, most tender parts of the spears. Prepare the knotweed by cutting out the 'knots' - these can be juiced along with any tougher sections you have.
Place the prepared sections into a saucepan, add the juice of half an orange, a touch of water and gently simmer until soft. Once soft add a quantity of either birch or maple syrup to sweeten to your preferred taste. Pour into a food blender and blitz into a smooth puree. Pass this mixture through a fine sieve using the back of a spoon into a clean bowl. 

This puree is gorgeous spooned onto plain or vanilla yoghurt, with a sprinkle of mixed spice and pepperkakor biscuit and crumb (see image)! You can dd a spoonful or two to smoothies. Best of all though is to add this puree to make knotweed, vanilla & lime ice cream or a Knotweed Tart (see recipe at top of page)


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