Place the cleaned hawthorn berries in a good pan with ¾ litre cold water. Bring to a rolling boil for 20 minutes or so until the water has taken on the colour of the berries (it will look slightly brownish at this stage but don’t worry!). If the water boils away make sure to top it up. Pass berry mixture through sieve (finer the better) and press the mush with the back of a spoon to get as much of the liquid as possible. Let the mixture cool. You can collect the liquid with the help of a muslin cloth but it’s not essential.
Place 200ml of the cold liquid in a small bowl and add the gelatine. In a separate bowl pour a further 300ml of the remaining liquid, add the juice of 1 lemon and 75g corn flour and mix well. Place 600g of sugar in a large pan and add both lots of liquid once the gelatine has softened. Bring heat on slowly and simmer for about 25 minutes. A fine froth will begin to form on top which you can easily remove with large spoon from time to time. Once the mixture has thickened to the consistency of thin custard remove from heat and leave to cool for ten minutes or so.
Now you need a mould to pour your mixture into. I used a silicon cake tin dusted with icing sugar but anything reasonable would do – but make sure your oil it or dust it with icing sugar. Pour in the mixture and leave in a cool place overnight. And don’t keep prodding it with your fingers every 10 minutes to see if it has set like I did!
The following day, dust a large wooden board with a mixture of icing sugar and corn flour and turn out your Hawthorn Delight!
Dust the top with a little icing sugar/corn flour and start to cut thick slices which you then cut into cubes or lozenges. Make sure your knife is wiped well after every cut and keep dusting the edge of knife to stop it sticking. Its probably a good idea to only cut up the delight as you need it because the little cubes have more surface area with which to absorb moisture.
Roll the cubes in icing sugar and keep in a plastic box – or just keep stuffing your face with the stuff like I did.
I am sure there are many other variations possible at this time of year. I think rowan delight would be stunning, or perhaps a mixture of hawthorn and rowan? Would crab apples, sloes or elder work? Please tell me if anyone experiments or improves this recipe with a tweek or two…..Good Luck and Enjoy!