Haw ketchup and roasted haw stones (ready for grinding to make a surprisingly good beverage).
Being the season of mellow fruitfulness at the moment, the kitchen rarely has time to recover inbetween adventures in preserving – from blackberry and apple fruit leather, hedgerow jelly, hedgerow cheese, to pickled nastursium seedpods, elderberry catsup and hawthorn ketchup, hawthorn ‘coffee’ and elderberry cough syrup.
On Sunday 1.6Kg of hawthorns met their pleasantly messy end. A good first attempt at haw ketchup (hawthorn is good for the heart apparently – it controlled Furgus’ own heart complaint). The vinegar and sugar needs reducing a bit next time; in our batch the quantities (from The River Cottage Handbook No 2) hid the gently bitter flavour of hedgerow which was a shame. Don’t let that put you off buying the book – it’s full of good ideas!
Intrigued by the potential of the haw seeds to make ‘coffee’ we roasted this by-product of the ketchup, ground it and put it through our Italian stove-top cafetiere. We were pleasantly surprised and amazed by the diverse flavour compounds one plant can deliver. It was nothing like coffee but lovely in its own right…rounded, gently sweet, nutty, vanilla notes with an aroma reminiscent of popcorn!