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Hedgerow ketchup

Hedgerow ketchup

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook: -
  • More effort
  • Makes about 500ml

Use up foraged elderberries, blackberries, hawthorn haws or crab apples in this fruity homemade ketchup - a great sauce for sausages or burgers

  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian
Nutrition: per tbsp
low infat0g


  • 500g elderberries
  • 500g mix of blackberries , hawthorn haws and/or crab apples
  • 3 shallots , chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 300ml red wine vinegar
  • 250g light muscovado sugar

For the spice bag

  • 3 dried chillies
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 3 thin slices ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick , broken in half
  • 4 pared strips of lime zest


  • STEP 1

    Wash your bottles in hot soapy water, rinse well and leave upside down to dry. Wash and pick over all the fruit. Tip into a large pan with the shallots, salt and vinegar. Measure the spice bag ingredients onto a square of muslin, tie with kitchen string and add to the pan.

  • STEP 2

    Bring slowly to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer very gently, partially covered, for 30 mins until all the fruit is softened. Remove the spice bag and press the mixture through a plastic sieve to remove seeds and tough skins.

  • STEP 3

    Put your prepared bottles in a moderate oven (180C/160C fan/gas 4) for 10 mins. Return the ketchup mixture to the rinsed-out pan and add the sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring, then boil hard for 8-10 mins until thick and syrupy. Decant into your warm bottles, seal and label. Will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks – for long-term storage (up to a year), the ketchup will need to be sterilised (see tip, below left).


Put the bottles of ketchup on an upturned saucer or a thick wad of newspaper in the base of a heavy pan that will fit the bottles snugly. Fit newspaper pages between the bottles to stop them clanking together.

Pour over hot water to the necks of the bottles, then cover the pan with a lid or tent of foil. Bring to simmering point and maintain this simmer for 20 mins.

Leave to cool in the water for 30 mins, then remove and wipe the bottles with a clean tea towel. Will keep in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year. 

Goes well with

Recipe from Good Food magazine, September 2014

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A star rating of 4.8 out of 5.5 ratings

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