Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide
Serving hot sticky rowan pudding

I have been waiting a long time to share this recipe. Waiting for a day when comfort food is required and longed for. I think that day has arrived.

A warming dessert with toffee-coloured sponge, a thick, sweet sauce and the sharp autumn flavour of rowan berries. Yes, a wonderfully warm, stodgy, filling, fruity pudding!

This sticky rowan marmalade pudding is wild comfort food at it’s best.

A serving of homemade rowan sticky pudding

If today's not your comfort food day, then you could make this rowan marmalade anyway. Rowan marmalade is one of the ingredients in this pudding, and making this in advance means you'll be prepared for when the need for sweet, warm comfort food arrives....

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Picking a bunch of rowan berries from the tree

Clusters of orangey-red berries framed by evenly spaced, elegant long-tipped leaves, the rowan tree is a stunner. By the beginning of autumn, it is adorned by these vitamin C rich berries which make hauntingly good marmalade.

Traditionally, marmalade is made from the rind and pulp of citrus fruits. Instead, this recipe uses equal amounts of sweet apples and rowan berries, and the texture and flavour is uncannily like marmalade.

Jar of wild rowan berry marmalade

Many people discard these berries as too bitter tasting, though really, they've missed a trick! It's all about marrying the flavour with the right recipe.

If you like marmalade, I'm pretty sure you'll love this recipe. It is easy to make and if you're interested in unusual, wild flavours this is definitely a recipe to try.

An open jar of homemade rowan marmalade

Rowan Berry Marmalade

Hauntingly good and uncannily like marmalade; though richer with the dark sugar and the addition of the curious flavour of rowan berries.

Makes 400 - 450 g


  • 250 g rowan berries
  • 250 g sweet apples, cored and cut in pieces
  • 150 ml water
  • 250 g soft brown sugar

Discard all the stalks (this will take time but is worth it) and place the berries and apples in a medium saucepan, add the water (it may not cover the fruits completely) and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the rowan berries are soft. Drain the fruit and liquid through a sieve into a large bowl.

Next, mash the fruits with a wooden spoon through the sieve into the same bowl, so as much as the fruit pulp as possible is gained from the fruits. The pulp will be a fantastic orange colour (image below).

Apple and rowan berry pulp for making marmalade

Clean and dry the saucepan and add the sugar over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the sugar is browning, immediately add the fruit pulp and liquid and stir in. Bring to a bubbling simmer for about 5 minutes and let the mixture reduce a little, stirring occasionally to make sure the fruit pulp doesn’t burn.

Messy saucer with spoon and smears of freshly made rowan berry marmalade

To test if it is ready and thick enough, take a teaspoon of the mixture and place on a clean plate, allow to cool for a few minutes before push your finger, or spoon into the edge of the marmalade, if it begins to wrinkle at the edges, it is ready. If it is too liquid, then continue to simmer and repeat the test until ready. When ready, pour into clean, sterilised jars and seal.

Spoon of homemade rowan marmalade

For my best recipes, why not take a look at my Rich Pickings membership offer, where I share seasonal recipes every month. I also have lots more wild berry recipes as part of my autumn blog section.

Finally, I'd love to hear from you if you make this recipe! Feel free to email me or share and tag on facebook or instagram.

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