Late October and the hedgerows are still packed full of hawthorn berries. There’s only so much hawthorn syrup or brandy I can make, so the ketchup recipe I developed this year is a perfect extra recipe! Unlike the other hawthorn ketchup recipe, this one has Mediterranean herbs in and enough garlic to stun a vampire – just remember to keep it for a week or two before you tuck in, to get the flavour to mature properly!
Hawthorn and Apple Ketchup
As many hawthorn berries as you can bear to gather
Two or three apples – again, cooking apples are best
One large onion – red or white depending on preference
As much garlic as you enjoy adding to recipes
350mls red wine vinegar
Salt to taste
Oil for cooking – you can use oak smoked rapeseed, garlic infused, or whichever you prefer.
Mediterranean herbs – oregano, rosemary and thyme work well
Brown sugar to taste
Peel and core the apples then finely chop them. Peel and dice the onion and the garlic and put them into the pan with two or three tablespoons of cooking oil, then cook on a low heat until tender. Add the finely chopped apples and the hawthorn berries, and pour over the red wine vinegar. Remove the herbs from any thicker stems and finely dice them, then add those to the pot as well. Simmer the whole lot for 30 minutes on a gentle heat, mashing occasionally to break the skins of the hawthorn berries, then press the whole lot through the colander. Return the pulp to the saucepan and add brown sugar and salt to taste, then pour it into wide necked jars and allow it to cool. This delicious ketchup is really tasty with cold meats, cheese, and many other savoury dishes!
Make loads – trust me, you will be glad you did! This recipe really gets better with a little maturing. 😀