hawthorn jelly

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john scrivy

Nomad
May 28, 2007
398
0
essex
I have just had a go at making hawthorn jelly Just wondered how many BCUK peeps out there have had a try ----I collected in a carrier bag added water and mushed up in the bag got some fine netting or the building site and sived through--colected in a saucer and spead flat it solidified very quickly I had a taister ---not bad---then lifted the jelly off the saucer into the oven to air dry so far so good Verdict --Taistes if anything a bit applely but quite bland I quite enjoyed doing it as the wife was out a bit of a messy proccess has anyone else had a go
 

jon r

Native
Apr 7, 2006
1,197
9
32
England, midlands
www.jonsbushcraft.com
I had a go at this today too. I think i added a little too much water though because it still hasnt set!:( Oh well, it was good fun!

The taist of the stuff isnt too much to rave about either. Ray mears said on TV that it's the nearest thing to something you would get from a sweet shop, i disagree.

Hopefully it might set overnight and i'll have chance to air dry it.


If yours turns out ok John will you post some pics?
 

spamel

Banned
Feb 15, 2005
6,833
21
45
Silkstone, Blighty!
Funnily enough, I too had a go today! Ratbag came with me after our weekend air rifle shooting to do some foraging, we came away with some haws and some sloes. I tried making this and thought it tasted terrible! I did a small bit at first, just a couple of handfuls to guage how much water I needed and how quickly it set. Very quick was the answer to that one! I found it took a while to process them in order to get rid of the bits of leaf and the stalks, so gave up in the end and did it the same way as Ray did in Wild Food. It worked really well. I added some honey to make it slightly sweeter though, and found that it stops the haws from setting. Next time, I'll try sugar. It is in the dehydrator at the moment and is turning into a good fruit leather, so not a total failure. From the haws we gathered, you don't get much of a return!
 

john scrivy

Nomad
May 28, 2007
398
0
essex
Thanks for your replies guys and your thread copperhead I missed that one---The thing that has come out of this is do not add to much water I like the idea of adding a sweatner and nearly did as Spamel tried adding honey I recon you would have to add another fruit like what was sujested eg blackberry otherwise it stops the setting proccess( I think it pecines that cause the fruit to set ) I stand to be corrected
 

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
22,364
1,909
64
Pembrokeshire
Having 2 large Hawthorn trees in my garden and being an enterprising fellow I have tried several recipes for haws.
They all proved very time consuming and to be frank the results were a big disapointment!
Haws it seems are very very bland in flavour and need a bit of "help" to make them taste of anything much (though it copuld be my tastebuds are rotted out from cheap sloe gin) and this year, despite a bumper crop of haws, I just cannot be bothered....
Ray either has much more sensitive taste buds than me or over sells the haws (as I feel he did with Birch sap) and I think a lot of folk will be spending a lot of time collecting haws that would be better spent on finding other, more valuable, wild foods.
Just my opinion...
John
 

xylaria

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
I kind of agree with you John. Haws are alot of hassle for the bland return when doing fruit leather.

Haws do not act like other fruit. I make jam from them mixed with other fruit. They do add a natural sweetness when doing jam, but the sweetness becomes blander after several months storage and jam can go liquid. Maybe the heating over the 100c mark makes some of the carbohydrate break down to a sugar or something, I am going try gentle toasting some of the fruit leather I made to see if it makes a differance.

Maybe they have more use as binder instead of egg?
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,879
2,752
S. Lanarkshire
I reckon they're really an outdoors only type food. Great if you want a binder for a quick sauce or chutney, good as the base of a veggie curry, generally too much hassle for the result for jam or jelly and not enough flavour on their own for leather. Good mixed with something like brambles or strawberries for leather though.
I'm always a bit wary of advising using hawthorns; they're one of the old heart herbs.

cheers,
Toddy
 

jon r

Native
Apr 7, 2006
1,197
9
32
England, midlands
www.jonsbushcraft.com
mine didnt set so ive spread it out on some foil and put it in a warm place to dry. For some reason the surface of the paste went dark like chocolate when it was in the bowl.

I will have to see how it turns out. I'll proberbly wake up tomorrow to find a thick layer of mould on top, lovely jubely!
 

Buckshot

Mod
Mod
Jan 19, 2004
6,356
248
Oxford
I had a go at it aswell this weekend.
But taking heed from the other thread I put some late season blackberries in the mix as well...
Still tastes bland but it's still drying so we'll see properly in a day or so.

Mark
 

Nagual

Native
Jun 5, 2007
1,963
0
Argyll
I finally decided to have a go myself, having seen RM describe this apparently lovely wild sweet how could I resist? Off I went into the great outdoors AKA a near by disused rail track - now a walk / cycle track, where hawthorn are in abundance. After about 30 minutes or so I had collected about half a carrier bag full and headed home to commence the crushing et al.

I started to clean it out a bit, as I didn't fancy the extra goodness some spiders I'd inadvertantly caught. Small handfulls at a time was much easier to deal with than trying to mush it all up at one go. I had to add water too - even though its done nothing but rain since last year lol It set fairly quickly, perhaps in about half a hour or so and I sliced it up into nice thin erm slices really.

Once dried I was very keen to see it really was as good as RM's comments led me to believe. Oh my goodness! what an amazing taste. I can honesty say I have not tasted anything so vile in years. To say it was bland would be wrong, it was fully of some flavour but I've never tasted anything quite like it, definately not sweet. A sort of muddy bitter flavour with a light sandy sour texture perhaps? Personally I'd love to hear from anyone who as managed to get it even near RM's description.

Oh well, there is always birch sap tea next year to try... ;)


Cheers,

Nagual.
 

Matt Weir

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jun 22, 2006
2,880
2
49
Tyldesley, Lancashire.
I've been tasting the haws since they first appeared and to date still find they taste bland with a slight hint of toilet roll tube plus reading about the disappointing results other folk have suffered I decided not to bother. I am going to concentrate on sloes and gin I think ;)
 

xylaria

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
I have tried toasting mine with a flame, and it changes the flavour slightly, I would say it was more apple flavoured school cricket bat than bog roll carboard BUT it does light very easily and holds an ember.:burnout:
 

john scrivy

Nomad
May 28, 2007
398
0
essex
NOW not heard this one on BCUK which dried fruit leather is a good tinder If someone starts a thead on this subject remember you saw it on the lovely grub forum first folks
 

xylaria

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
NOW not heard this one on BCUK which dried fruit leather is a good tinder If someone starts a thead on this subject remember you saw it on the lovely grub forum first folks

Don't get carried away, Don't take my word for it. I am rubbish at firecraft, and I have set fire to soup before. If some of the rest of you treid toasting it and seeing what the results are, it might have credability as a claim. I think we have blown the "mmm it tastes sweet" out of the water.
 

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
22,364
1,909
64
Pembrokeshire
Ah - that will be all the sugars in the leather - you know how well sugars burn!
Haws have definately been oversold by RM- IMHO - as was the Birch sap. At least you do not have to damage a tree to learn how poor a meal haws make....
This is not a RM bash - in general I find his info reliable - but on these occassions perhaps he shows a little too much "enthusiasm" for the items in question.
I do not like shellfish as much as he does, but I accept that this is my problem, and just to show I am willing to admit that I am odd in my tastes - I cannot STAND mead!
With so many people agreeing with my opinion on the Sap and Haws question I think that I can say "it aint me this time buddy"
 

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