Hawthorne berries - fruit leather! Tips please.

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Samon

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Mar 24, 2011
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Yo,

As the many edible fruits, berries and plants are emerging fast I'd like to finally take a shot at Hawthorne.

I've wanted to make that fruit leather stuff I saw mr.mears make years ago on one of his shows. But I don't remember much about it.

So, what are the best times to pick them? Any signs they are/aren't ready? How do I efficiently make the mash with minimal waste?

Any tips, tricks and advice will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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Timely post :) I was looking at the Hawthorn over the garden fence just this afternoon :D

They're pretty tasteless, tbh. They do make a leather though. I am old enough to have had it drummed into me that Hawthorn is a heart tonic type herb, not really a food, so some are fine, but a lot's not a good idea. I do know that eating the seeds is a very bad idea.
Personally I'd rather footer around taking all the wee hairs out of huge rosehips and using them instead.
I have very rarely found a bush with sweetish berries, if you've found one, you're a lucky man and you mind it and where it grows, because like elders every bush is different and we haven't really domesticated them for choice fruits.

The hawthorn berries are ripe when you can crush them with the tines of a fork and get the seeds out easily. Most folk says that's after the first frost.
I think it rather depends upon your berries.
If you cook the berries then you're removing much of the vitamin C, but you're also making them less 'herbal', so more just like fruit, iimmc ?

Cook them to mush, spread it out and let it dry. That's pretty much it really, but I believe that they can just be mashed up and the paste left to dry.
I think it's one of those things that looks cool, but ends up something you'd rather not eat much of.

I'm pretty sure Eat the Weeds has an article on them.
I'll find a link :D

cheers,
Toddy
 
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Woody girl

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The way I make hawthorn fruit leather is to cook the haws gently in some water... just simmer until soft and pulpy. Mash gently with a tater masher to release the juice. Strain through a jelly bag.then I make an apple puree using the haw juice . Then I spread this onto a metal oven tray lined with a silicone sheet and dry in a low oven with the door ajar. It may not be the accepted recipe but it works and no chance of those seeds getting into anything.I often add a tablespoon of honey to sweeten if it needs it.
I made apple and blackberry leather yesterday.
 
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Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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I am not 100% sure I would do that. Unless I am wrong, making fruit leather concentrates the f4uit, including pharmacologically active compounds.
Hawthorn preparations were used for car$iac problems.
 
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Snufkin

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Oct 13, 2004
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I've done it by mushing them through a sieve raw and letting the "jelly" set then cutting it into slices to dry. It's a pretty tedious process but tastes a little like licorice. Simmering it in a little water with some blackberries added frees up the pulp a bit better but it takes longer to dry. It doesn't taste very sweet so you may want to add sugar.
To be honest it was an interesting experiment but it's not one of those things I'd do every year unless I was relying on natural resources for my sustenance.
 
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Nice65

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There is a glut of Hawthorn fruit this year, most hedgerow fruits have done really well.

You’ll not get me eating Hawthorn berries (ever again), fruit leather or otherwise, they taste horrible. I’d like to give the Brambles a go, and I reckon the Sloes and Bullace are in for a good crop too. Whatever is Sloe fruit leather going to taste like? :yuck:
 
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Samon

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Mar 24, 2011
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Thanks for the input fellas/fellettes! :)

So is cooking the berries more of a way to get the most out of the fruit flavour and additional pectin? And is there a shelf life issue or any other reason besides the seeds that can lead to poisoning?

Also, does the herbal medicine effect of the leaves, berries etc interact with antipsychotic medication?..

I'm gonna inspect the trees later and check up on the crop of berries. They probably aren't ready yet but I like to scout the local area for progress of the wild foods.

Cheers
 

Woody girl

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A quick Google gives a lot of info, but here is some.
It can interfere with beta blockers such as atenolol (tenormin) nadolol (corgard) or propranolol (inderal LA nnopran XL, )
Calcium channel blockers such as diltiazem nifedipine (procardia ) and verapaniul(calan verelan). Phew! Hope I spelled that lot correctly!
It can also interfere with blood pressure treatments.
Saying that.. after my heart attack I decided to self treat with hawthorn teas instead of recommended statins much to my doctors horror, five years later I'm in good heart health and doing fine. So all I will say is do your research first if you have any worries.
 
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Woody girl

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Excellent!
Has your cholesterol levels gone down and ratio changed compared to before the incident?
Yes. I now use a cholesterol reducing margarine and everything is OK now. It goes up and down a bit but is within parameters . The hawthorn tea is home made as it's hard to find in the shops. But it has strengthened my heart nicely and no longer need statins. I had to do a lot of research and change diet quite a lot. Doc nearly had a fit when I went for my check up and I told her what I'd done, :) but had to admit it worked.... and it saved the NHS thousands £s! I wouldn't recommend unless you have done masses of research and consulted a reputable herbalist. Luckily it was only a minor attack and only needed a stent more for safety's sake than anything else. Wow that was a trip!!!!!.... not!!!!
 
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