Hawberry Ketchup October 04 2015
Last year we went on a foraging tour with the quite excellent interior architect and forager Claire Potter as Part of the Chelsea Fringe in Brighton. Claire showed us what hawthorn bushes looks like and told us that you can make the hawberries into ketchup.
We came away from the tour with a copy of her foraging map of Brighton. The map is a detailed design of central Brighton which comes with stickers to mark your good foraging spots. I finally got a chance to use mine this week when we went out and about on a mission to find sloes and haws.
Our first attempt was on Saturday when Sarah, Gabriella and I went to Devil's dyke, spent hours picking haws, spent even longer hunting for sloes, came home and had barely enough haws to half fill one of those Gü ramekins with ketchup. Undeterred we decided to go again on Thursday with the aim of bringing back enough haws to make a bottle or two of ketchup.
If you want to go foraging to make foodstuffs, make sure you plan a lot of time in to do it, and make sure you do it with a friend you can handle spending a lot of time with. It always takes longer than you think it's gunna. Luckily, Gabs and I had a fab time back on Devil's Dyke; foraging and chatting, picking out hawberry stalks and chatting, making hawthorn ketchup and chatting. If there is anything we haven't yet found out about each others' lives, I'm sure it will come out next week when we get steeping with the sloes we picked (more on that another day).
We had loosely aimed to pick a kilo of haws, so that we could each make a batch with 500g but in the end we just went on gut feel and stopped foraging when the basket was full and we were tired. So imagine our excitement when we weighed our collection to find that we had picked exactly 1kg of haws! Not 999g, not 1001g. But 1000g. This was bonkers.
We mostly followed Hugh F-W's recipe for Haw-Sin sauce but made some slight alterations. Gab's went completely off-piste and invented a brand-new sauce loosely based on HP and aptly named HB sauce (Haw Berry). You can find the recipe on her Mangia Bene blog.
Here are the basic ketchup ingredients:
- 500g Hawberries
- 300ml Water
- 300ml Apple cider vinegar
- 150g Light brown sugar
- Salt and pepper
It's incredibly simple to make:
- Remove stalks and leaves.
- Wash Berries
- Bring to the boil with the vinegar and 300ml water then simmer for 30 minutes until they have softened.
- Push the fruit through a sieve to make a puree, leaving the skins and pips behind.
- Put the puree back into the pan and add the sugar to dissolve. Simmer for 5 more mins.
- Then simply decant into sterilised bottles or jars and decorate with pretty things - I used our blackboard stickers and our natural twine ribbon because I'm a sucker for decorating homemade foodstuffs.
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