Some time ago Amalie and Daniel joined me for a herb walk alongside Park Frankendael. One of the plants which was in bloom at the time was Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna). Amalie knew the berries from Denmark and kindly sent me some recipes to try and share. Hawthorn is in fruit right now, it is a common hedgerow plant and the berries (well “pomes” actually but they look like berries) are edible raw or cooked. Most of each fruit is seed, these need to be strained out of any recipe unless you’d like blunt teeth.
Here are the two recipes from Amalie, plus one I have been experimenting with, which doesn’t need sugar. I also posted a Hawthorn Elixir recipe a short while ago which may be interesting.
Hawthorn puree and juice
1 liter of hawthorn berries
300 grams of sugar
Mash the berries into a puree.
Add the sugar and heat to about 70°C (hot, steamy but not boiling). Strain out the seeds.
The puree can be used for various things including the making of Hawthorn juice, by diluting in water (1 part puree to 10 parts water).
Hawthorn with apples and prunes
½ liter hawthorn berry juice (see above)
750 grams of apples, peeled, cored and quartered
100 grams of prunes, roughly chopped
Sugar (as much as you like to taste)
Cook apples and prunes in the hawthorn juice until the apples turn to pulp and the prunes are swollen, soft and succulent. Then add the sugar to taste. If you like, you can add a bit of melatin with pectin, to thicken it all up.
This can be stored in sterile canning jars or eaten straight away.
Haw & Honey Syrup
1. Spread your Hawthorn berry (Haws) out in your kitchen for a while to give any bug residents time to relocate. (dry Haws can also be used but they’ll need to simmer for much longer in step 4, to soften them up)
2. Clean your Haws in fresh water.
3. Place them in a small saucepan and almost cover them with just boiled water.
4. Bring to the boil and simmer for just a couple of minutes, to soften everything up a little.
5. Remove from the heat and slow to cool enough to handle.
6. Strain and push out the juice/mush through a standard kitchen sieve. Get out as much as possible. Squidge it with your fingers and a widen spoon. Combine the mush with the water that was used to simmer.
7. When the juice had cooled to being warm but not hot, stir in a nice big dollop of good quality runny honey.
8. Give it all a good stir and chance to combine before storing in a pressure safe glass bottle or jar (like an old flip bung Grolsch bottle).
Use as a tasty winter tonic, straight or mixed. Hawthorn is best known as a gentle heart tonic, for the emotions and the circulatory system.