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Foodolution » The Joy of Foraging No. 4: Haws
9th Sep, 2008

The Joy of Foraging No. 4: Haws

Haw Ketchup & Hawthorn Coffee

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.

The ketchup was inspired by a Bristol freeconomy evening with Furgus Drennan (see a post Bruce wrote about it here).

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!

Haw Coffee 1 


[...] on the other hand coffee’s more your thing, read about haw coffee here (and [...]

I’ve just found this when looking how to make haw coffee. Did you find a relatively easy way of stoning the haws?

Oh and made some haw ketchup yesterday, which turned out a lot thicker than what yours looks like, but delicious. It was a real pain straining it through a sieve and I ended up with a lot less than I had hoped, because it was almost impossible to separate the flesh from the stones.

Hi Heiko, if you’ve got a juicer, that’s how we separated out the stones before cooking the haws (quite a noisy way, but effective!).

I made another batch of haw ketchup last season, with less sugar & vinegar (though still plenty to preserve) which turned out really well with more flavour and proper shake-the-bottle-hard-to-get-it out consistency. Greenbelt festival-goers who came on our tasting forages approved again this year!

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