Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide

Haw Berry and Star Anise Jam Recipe

Spoon of hawthorn jam, berries on saucer

I love this sweet, smoothly textured, wild hawthorn fruit jam and it went down a treat with participants on my autumn foraging course too. Read on to recipe! Haw berry and start anise jam make a gorgeous

Haw berries - the fruits of the hawthorn tree (Crataegus monogyna) - have long been used as medicine in the East and West, as well as used as a wild food.

Haw berries on a tree, autumn colours

Their taste is mild and unimpressive when eaten raw off the tree - think soft apple or apple peel. However, once cooked and flavoured these berries can be turned into a delicious jam, with a lovely texture of pureed fruit.

Open jar of haw berry jam

My three favourite recipes for transforming haw berries or 'haws' are; hawthorn berry ketchup, hawthorn and apple fruit leather and this jam which can be spread on bread or used in desserts. Oh, and I also make a punchy, medicinal Hawthorn berry schnapps!

The benefits of eating haws

I've written about the benefits of eating and using hawthorn berries and my personal motivation for using them here - why eat haw berries.

Are all hawthorns edible?

Hawthorns are a large plant family with a variety of different species, all bearing fruit. Each hawthorn produces an edible fruit, though the taste and size can vary a lot.

For example, Chinese hawthorn fruits (Crataegus pinnatifida) have a tart flavour and look like crab apples. While several of the native species in North America look very different to our native Hawthorn tree here in the UK.

Hawthorn berries in the rain on a foraging course

Across the world these fruits are used for jam, jellies, sweet treats and for flavouring alcohol. In This recipe I have created fits nicely into this International theme.

Spoon of hawthorn jam, berries on saucer foraged on a wild food course

Haw Berry and Star Anise Jam Recipe

This is a lovely, thick textured jam, or more like a mildly flavoured dark red fruit puree. It makes a great filling for jam tarts and goes well with cream cheese. I love it plain, though the star anise adds a gorgeous sweetness and added layer to it.

This recipe is from my book 'Wild and Sweet' (p233) alongside 3 other haw berry recipes, such as haw berry and chocolate baked cheesecake and 100 more wild desserts.

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