You could have knocked me down with a feather this evening! There was me, calmly watching people getting murdered on Agatha Christie's Miss Marple (bring back Joan Hickson!) when I turned over to River Cottage Autumn to see Hugh Fernley Wittingstall making a hawthorn sauce - I couldn't believe my eyes!
Here's the recipe from the Channel 4 website http://www.channel4.com/food/recipes/chefs/hugh-fearnley-whittingstall/haw-sin-sauce-recipe_p_1.html
* 500g haw berries
* 250ml organic cider vinegar
* 250ml water
* 250g organic, unrefined caster sugar
* Freshly ground black pepper
Method: How to make haw-sin sauce
1. Clean and de-stalk the haw berries then rinse in cold water.
2. Place in large pan with the vinegar and water and bring to boil. Simmer for approximately 30-45 minutes until the skins start to split.
3. Remove from the heat and rub the mixture through a sieve, leaving largish stones and the skins behind.
4. Return the mixture to a clean pan, add the sugar and heat gently, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves.
5. Bring to the boil and cook for a further 5 -10 minutes, until the sauce reduces and becomes slightly syrupy.
6. Season with salt and pepper to taste then pour into warm, sterilised bottles.
What Hugh actually said was that if you turn the filled bottles upside down they would steralise the m from the inside.
So presumably you can help your blood pressure and your heart by eating a hawthorn sauce!
If anyone hasn't tried hawthorn infused cider vinegar, it's really nice and there is still time to get picking before the frosts get to the haws.
Sighs, I guess this means I shall be picking haws again next weekend! - I've already made hawthorn brandy, hawthorn vinegar and have two more jars of vinegar infusing in the hot cupboard.
What I'm really pleased about is that now when people come up to me and say "Why are you picking those berries, aren't they poisonous?" I can say - "Didn't you see the latest River Cottage...?"