Last remnants of the Autumn harvest

4th March 2013

On a sheltered south facing hedge found a few Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna berries still hanging on in there.

Hawthorn Berries Crataegus monogyna
They were still fine to use, not shrivelled or mouldy and not too soft. There weren’t many but with a bit of perseverance you may still be able to gather enough to do something with especially if you combine it with that other last remaining fruit of autumn that we discussed in an earlier blog, the Crab Apple Malus sylvestris.  

Crab Apples Malus sylvestris
Haws and Crab Apples have a natural affinity and are often combined in recipes. A very simple one is Haw and Crab Jelly.

You will need equal quantities by weight of both Hawthorn berries and Crab Apples. Put in a pan and add about 80-100 ml of water per 100g of fruit depending on how dry the fruit are, at this time of year they are likely to be quite dry. Add a tablespoon or two of lemon juice or better still  verjuice. Bring to the boil then simmer, covered until the fruit is very soft.  If you want clear jelly you will need to pass the pulp through a jelly bag or some muslim cloth, otherwise simply pass through a sieve.  Place the strained juice into a clean pan and for every 100ml of juice add 100g of caster sugar. Heat gently until the sugar is dissolved, then bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes. Pour into sterilised jars and allow to cool.

Makes a perfect accompaniment to game and other meat and also goes well with cheese.

Kev Palmer

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