Friday, 18 September 2009

Hips and Haws

The hedgerows are full of rose hips and hawthorn berries, and it seems a shame to leave them all to the birds. So I have tried an old recipe using haws, the fruit of the hawthorn. You can call them hawthorn berries, but it seems a shame not to use the old name, especially when it appeals so much to people like me with a very juvenile sense of humour. Indeed, I suspect my own motives for making this lovely old preserve, now who do I know who might like a bottle of Haw Sauce, hmm, the vicar perhaps..?

Haw Sauce

1 lb of Haws
8 oz sugar
half a pint of cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
half a teaspoon pepper
half a fresh chilli

There's no shortage of haws, so make sure you choose good ones, nice and plump, avoid the ones hanging around by the roadside, and nothing unnattractive and wrinkly.

Pick off all the stems and bits of leaf. Wash and place in a saucepan with half a pint of cider vinegar and half a pint of water, and half a chopped chilli.

Simmer until soft - mine took only 10 minutes.

Next you have to get the stones out, and the easiest way is to whizz the whole lot in the food processor for a few seconds and then pass it through a sieve.

Yes I know it sounds like a bit of a pain, especially for a small quantity like this, but as this was in the way of an experiment, I would certainly make a larger amount next time, which would be more worthwhile. And after all, it's mostly free!

Return the pulp to the saucepan, add the sugar, salt, and pepper and stir until dissolved. You should have a thick sauce, if it seems a bit runny boil it down for a few minutes

Pour into sterilized bottles

and spend ages making tricksy little labels...

And if you think  you don't have time to be messing about with all this, remember it's fun, it's delicious, it's almost free, and it's the perfect Christmas present for the single bloke who has everything!

Please feel free to comment on this post, or just say hello! Click "comment" below....


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