Its very gratifying that something so prolfic and so easily recognisable is edible.  However, even the plumpest hawthorn berries cannot be eaten raw (that is to say – you could eat them – but they would give you little pleasure if you did!).

But Hawthorn chutney – now there’s a thing!

2 lb hawthorn berries

1 pint cider vinegar

1/4 lb dried fruit of choice – what’s in your cupboard??

3/4 lb sugar (brown is best)

1 tsp each salt, ginger and nutmeg

1/4 tsp each ground cloves and allspice

black pepper

Use scissors to remove berry stalks, put in a pan with the cider and salt and bring to the boil, simmer for 1 hr.

Rub through a sieve into a clean pan, add the remainder of the ingedients and ince more bring to the boil, stirring continuously.

Simmer, uncovered for 15-20 mins until thick, pour into warm, sterilised jars and seal.

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