Weekend project: Hawberry Ketchup

You say tomato, we say hawberry. Treat your chips to a tangy alternative dip this autumn.

Photo: What You Sow

The fruit of a hawthorn tree - haws - are abundant at this time of year. In fact, once you recognise these tart, bright red berry-like fruits, you’ll start to see more of them than even the ubiquitous blackberry. The haws of the Common Hawthorn (the name ‘haw’ originates from the Old English term for hedge) are edible but taste rather like over-ripe apples. This tartness, however, makes for a delightfully tangy condiment and you only need 500g to make a couple of bottles of ketchup. Here our most recent stockist, Lyndsey from What You Sow shares her recipe for this autumnal treat. 

The leaves, berries and flowers of hawthorn are used in traditional medicine to treat diseases of the heart and blood and digestive complaints. Seek medical advice before consuming the berries if you have a cardiac or circulatory disorder and always make sure you are 100% sure of a plant’s identity when foraging.

Photo: What You Sow
Photo: What You Sow

You will need

  • 500g haws
  • 300ml apple cider vinegar
  • 300ml water
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper

How to make it

  • Remove all stalks and leaves.
  • Wash haws. 
  • Place haws in a pan and bring to the boil with the vinegar and 300ml water. Simmer for 30 minutes until soft.
  • Push the fruit through a sieve to make a puree. Discard the skins and pips.
  • Put the puree back into the pan. Add the sugar and allow to dissolve. Simmer for 5 more mins. 
  • Decant into sterilised bottles and enjoy. 
Photo: What You Sow


What You Sow is an online shop and blog for people who love to grow things. Their aim is to celebrate all there is to love about plants and encourage people to make the most of their green space, whatever space that might be.