haws, hips and sloes = ketchup, syrup and gin!

December 6, 2010 at 8:46 pm 8 comments

This years batch of saucy haw ketchup is an attractive deep red compared to last years russet brown.  Perhaps it’s because I took so long to get round to turning the haws into ketchup I thought (a month from picking to pan).  ‘It’s the colour of red wine this time‘ I commented to G, and then the penny dropped.  The red wine vinegar used top up the 50ml shortage of cider vinegar of course!  Personally I think it looks more appetising this shade.

My rose hip syrup on the other hand turned out a beautiful nectar-like orange.
Boiling up the rosehips creates a not very pleasant bitter smell and I did wonder if I’d taken a foraging step too far!  Once the juice is strained off though and the sugar added it’s truly transformed.  I picked just enough berries to make one small jar for my first time experiment (300g of rosehips).  There are still lots of rosehips still on the bushes but foraging in freezing temperatures, unsurprisingly, doesn’t have quite the appeal of summer time berry picking!

Talking of last years experiments, do you recall me making sloe gin for the first time.  I’d hoped to give it out as Christmas presents but wasn’t happy that it was syrupy enough by then.  The frozen sloes I’d used didn’t appear to have burst and the gin didn’t taste very fruity at all.
‘I’ll leave it a few weeks longer I thought’… and then the whole year passed by!
So last weekend I poured it all out and stabbed each and every sloe with a fork, returned them to the pan with the gin and gently warmed it before re-bottling. Hopefully by Christmas time it’ll be thicker, fruitier and ready to strain off for bottling.

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Entry filed under: in the kitchen.

discoveries reasons to be cheerful

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mangocheeks  |  December 6, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    All looks great, the colours are delightful. I am surprised to read that your rosehips are still hanging. Here in Scotland, they turned to mush ages ago.

    Hope your sloe gin works out, I am still shaking my kilner jar. I already know its not going to be thick and syrupy as I did not get to forage many sloes, someone got there before me 😦 But am still curious to see how it turns out.

    Reply
  • 2. Peggy  |  December 6, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Hi Nic, you have really taken the foraging bug! I have not heard of haw ketchup before but the colour is interesting. Is the rose hip syrup a type of marmalade! Now Sloe gin I have heard of, I hope your current bottle turne out OK for Christmas.

    Reply
  • 3. Denise Nesbitt  |  December 6, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Looks absolutely wonderful – roll on Christmas

    Reply
  • 4. Ann  |  December 7, 2010 at 11:50 am

    The colours of your preserves are beautiful. Have you been watching The Edwardian Farm? I think you may be able to watch it online. They made sloe gin on there too. I’ve often fancied trying to make rose hip syrup, would roses hips from my rose bushes work do you think? I always worry about poisoning myself! This year I did add dandelion leaves to my salads, that was a big step for me.

    Reply
  • 5. Nip it in the bud  |  December 10, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    MC – the rosehips are on small, low lying bushes so more protected that larger varieties it would seem. Looked quite magical when they were frost covered during the recent cold spell but all melted here now.
    Keep shaking that jar 😮

    Peggy – rosehip syrup is the thickness of medicine. In WW2 it was given to children daily to boost their vit c intake during the rationing of fresh vegetables. You can take it off the spoon like that, poor it over ice-cream or fruit or thin it down to make a cordial like drink.

    Denise – here, here, I’m getting excited about Christmas now.

    Ann – I haven’t, will have to check it out. I’ve not come across anything that says there are certain rose hips that can’t be used. When hips were collected to make syrup during WW2 I imagine they would have foraged whatever was available.
    Dandelion leaves in salad is a good start. They’re nice toasted with cheese inside flatbread and I’ve used them in lasagne too.

    Reply
  • 6. anenthusiast  |  December 12, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Yum! love it!

    Reply
  • 7. Bilbo  |  December 18, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    Gosh you’ve been busy. Now tell, what will you use the ketchup and jelly for?

    Reply
  • 8. Nip it in the bud  |  December 21, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    haw ketchup is nice with oat roast or mash.
    rosehip syrup’s packed with vit C so I intend to start taking spoonfuls at the first signs of sniffing!

    Reply

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