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Hawthorn Ketchup

VegetarianVeganDairy FreeGluten Free

A popular sauce among foragers and one of the best ways to use haw berries. It tastes like a fruity barbecue sauce.

Serves : 10
Prep : 2h
Cook : 45m
  • 500g Haw berries (stalks removed and washed)
  • 350ml cider vinegar
  • 350ml water
  • 150g brown sugar
  • black pepper (finely ground) to taste
  • salt to taste
  • Optional: ground cayenne pepper and/or ground herbs


  1. In a large pan add the water, cider vinegar and haw berries and bring to the boil. Simmer for 30m or until the skins split and the flesh of the berries is all soft.
  2. The laborious part of the recipe comes next. Pass the contents of the pan through a sieve keeping the stones and skins in the sieve and collecting the liquid and pulp of the berries in a container. Allow yourself some time and patiently use a spoon (or similar tool) to push as much flesh as you can through the sieve. The idea is to extract as much pulp as possible, the more you extract the thicker and more flavour intense the ketchup will be.
  3. Return the pulp to a pan adding the sugar, salt, black pepper and the other spices if using any. Bring to the boil making sure the sugar dissolves well. Reduce the heat and simmer until you achieve the desired thickness, you’re aiming for something similar to ketchup. Depending on how much pulp you extracted this will take from 5min up to 15min.
  4. Pour into sterilized jars and let rest for at least a month before opening. Be amazed with the rich flavour. It should keep in your cupboard for long but once open keep in the fridge.


After step 2 you’re left with plenty of skins, stones and probably still some fruit pulp in the sieve. Before discarding try adding that back to a pan with more water and vinegar. Boil again for a second extraction and pass again through a sieve. Add salt, pepper and spices to taste and quickly boil again before bottling the runny sauce. This sauce is great as a base for marinades or added to stews.


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