Posted by: edibleplanet | July 7, 2009

Finding Haws

A couple of months ago when I was driving around, I saw a family collecting berries off a tree on the side of the road. Then under another bush further along there was a big bucket like someone had been collecting there too.

I kept wondering what these berries were and one day while walking past a field that had them right a long the road, I picked some and put them in my pocket. I completely forgot about them until a week or so later when I put my jacket back on again and found shrivelled red lumps in my pocket.

Of course it should have been obvious who might know the answer: good ol’ Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (or Hugh Wobbly-Wobbly as he is known at our place ).

Sure enough he had a recipe for a sauce. But I wanted to make sure we had the right thing. I found some around the edge of a park near our house and picked a couple of handfuls as well as leaves and twigs to help with identification.

This site, and this site were the most useful. I decided I did have fruit off a Hawthorn bush and set about cooking the small amount of Haws I had. I used Hugh’s recipe but I did forget to add the black pepper at the end. It was one of the easiest sweet ‘n’ sour sauces I have made. There was a touch of intrepidation as we all tasted it and hoped the identification was right. I was surprised that it had a really nice flavour, more subtle than my usual sweet ‘n’ sour sauce and a pretty red colour as well. The berries are brown when you strain them off and all the colour is in the sauce. Definitely very good for some berries I picked off a bush by the park.

According to the internet, this sauce is a classic old British recipe and there are other yummy things you can make like Haw Jelly so it might be time for another trip to the park.

–Fiona

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Responses

  1. The orchard has a swag of hawthorne growing there, spread doubtlessly by the birds. I recently made a hawthorne-infused brandy – in about 6 months time, it’ll be ready for separating & a quick taste!


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