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Hawthorn Berry Ketchup Recipe

Hawthorn Berry Ketchup Recipe

Hawthorn Berries can be used in a wide variety of preserving recipes, and their natural pectin make them fantastic in jam. I love making my Hawthorn berries into a wild ketchup, the slightly tart flavor is incredible, and very similar to a tomato ketchup, yet wild.

You can play around with this recipe adding or substituting spices to your liking.


500 g fresh, ripe, hawthorn berries. Washed and de-stemmed.

300 ml Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

300 ml Water

150 g brown sugar or honey (will be very sweet with honey)

½ tsp fine salt

Put all the clean, de-stemmed berries into a large, solid cooking pot and cover with the vinegar and water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 30-45 mins until the berries have started to fall to pieces. Watch carefully as the liquid may start to catch near the end.

Take the pot off the stove and mash up the berries with a potato masher as best you can. It really pays to put a lot of muscle into this step and squeeze as much liquid out of the berries as possible.

Next, strain the pulp and liquid through a fine, metal sieve and catch the sauce underneath in a clean pot or glass bowl. This part is quite tricky and time consuming. Use the back of a big metal spoon to squeeze the pulp through as much as you can. There’s not point rushing this part or you won’t get much out. The easiest way is to add small amounts of pulp to the sieve at a time and squish this through, then remove the spent pulp before replacing with fresh pulp.

Once you’ve got all the sauce that you can out of the pulp, discard the pulp and return the remaining sauce/liquid to a clean pot. At this point you might like to add 100mls of water if your sauce is very thick.

Put the pot back onto a low stove and add the sugar and spices of your choice.

Spices can be ½ tsp ginger, ½ tsp nutmeg, and then to your liking a pinch of cloves, allspice, cayenne, cardamom, cinnamon, and pepper. Be careful not to make it too sweet. I usually add the ginger, nutmeg, allspice, with a big dash of cayenne or hot chilli and pepper.

Stir to dissolve the sugar and spices and simmer gently for 5-10mins. Stir constantly and do not leave the pot or it will burn! Once you’ve reached a nice thick consistency it’s time to bottle.

Bottle in a clean sterilised glass jar or bottle.

Store for a month or two before using to allow the flavors to develop.

Once opened, keep in the fridge and use within 6 months.

Pictured is my Hawthorn ketchup on the left, Hawthorns infusing in Vinegar in the middle, and a Hawthorn tincture infusing on the right.