Tag: rowan

Rowan Berry Fudge

75 grams butter
700 grams granulated sugar
100 ml evaporated milk
100 ml rowan berries
200 ml water

The juice can be made in advance. If you want to make more and freeze or pasteurise it, just add double the amount of water to rowan berries by volume.

Put the rowan berries and the water into a small saucepan and simmer until the berries are tender. Mash them in the pan with a potato masher. Remove from the heat.

Place a square of muslin over a sieve and strain the juice from the berries into a measuring jug. Once most of the juice has drained through, and the berries are cool enough, draw the edges of the muslin together to form a bag and give the bag a good squeeze.

Use the butter wrapper to pre-grease a large 25 cm baking tin.

Return the juice to the saucepan. Simmer on a medium heat to evaporate some of the liquid until you have reduced it to 100 ml of fairly strong rowan berry juice concentrate.

Keeping the saucepan over a medium heat, now add the evaporated milk to the 100 ml of rowan berry juice. When it is warm, add the sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat and bring to a rolling boil. Stir it continuously with a wooden spoon.

Once boiling, adjust the heat so it does not boil over, and boil for exactly 8 minutes. Alternatively, if you are using a sugar thermometer, boil it until the temperature reaches 113 degrees C (235 degrees F), but do not boil it for more than 9 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the butter until it has dissolved and then pour into the pre-greased tin.

Cool on a wire tray. When half cool, score lines in the fudge with a cake knife. When fully cool, remove from the tin and break along the scored lines. Store in a tin lined with greaseproof paper or a plastic food saver box.

Rowan berries – Sorbus aucuparia

I picked these to make Rowan Berry Jelly. They are not poisonous but they are quite bitter (an acquired taste!). Rowan Berry Jelly is particularly delicious served with venison, hare or strong tasting fowl. You can use the berries to make Rowanberry Wine. There is also an interesting recipe for Rowan Berry Marmalade on another website here.

Rowan berries

Rowan Berry Wine

2.25 kg rowan berries
1.2 kg finely granulated sugar
1 large lemon (zest and juice only) (or 2.5 tsp acid blend)
1/2 tbsp pectic enzyme
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1 packet wine yeast (Montrachet is good with berry wines or a Sherry yeast)
5 litres filtered boiling water

Nylon jelly bag or cheesecloth or muslin for straining
Plastic ‘fermenting’ bucket and lid
Hydrometer (optional)
2 x 5l demijohns or glass bottles
2 x fermentation locks and bungs
Clear 1.5cm diameter plastic tubing
6-7 x 750ml wine bottles
6-7 x corks
Campden tablets for sterilising the equipment.

This should make about 7 x 750ml bottles of wine.


Pick your ripe berries in late Autumn (ideally after a frost). Remove the stems and any rotten berries. Wash them and crush them into a large plastic bucket. Boil the water and dissolve the sugar into it, then add while still as hot as possible to the fruit in the bucket. Mash roughly with a sterilised potato masher then add the lemon juice and zest and allow to cool to room temperature between 12 and 18°C. Add the pectic enzyme and yeast nutrient and allow to sit in a warm spot for 12 hours.

Add the wine yeast (dissolved in 500ml boiled water also between 12 and 18°C) and wait for the fermentation to start frothing and bubbling. Stir daily for a week or until specific gravity reaches 1.040 (3-5 days).

DAY 5 – 7
Filter the liquid off into a demijohn. If it is not full, add filtered, boiled water to reach the top. Add a sterilised bung and fermentation lock and allow to ferment undisturbed.

After 4-6 weeks or when specific gravity reaches 1.000, siphon off the wine leaving the sediment behind, into a second demijohn. Top up with cooled pre-boiled water. Add a sterilised bung and fermentation lock.

After 3-4 months, siphon off the clear liquid into a third demijohn, add a sterilised bung and fermentation lock.

Once the wine is clear, approximately a month later, it is ready for bottling. Soak 7 corks for 24 hours in cool, boiled water. Then soak them for a further half an hour in a sulphite solution (30g in 1.5l of water) to sterilise them. Siphon off the wine into sterilised bottles leaving a space twice the length of the cork. Then cork.

Leave the bottles of rowan berry wine in a cool, dry, dark place for a year before drinking. If you can!