Now that it’s Autumn keep an eye-out for rosehips!
Most roses produce hips (see picture above). From wild dog roses located in hedgerows to the highly-developed Hybrid Teas in our gardens. The hips actually contain a rose's seed and its bright colours attract birds to both eat and distribute them.
Rosa rugosa, or Japanese rose, is a beautiful plant. And if you’re all about foraging, you’ll be happy to know they are perfect for making jams and syrups with.
It has a citrusy yet unique flavour and can be found from October to November.
This recipe uses a method which tends to retain more of the fruit. It produces a rustic, almost chutney-like preserve but if you would prefer a smoother jam then it can be pushed through a sieve, or blitzed with a blender.
It is not a sugary jam, so works as well as a spread on toast as it does accompanying cheeses.
Top Tip: Try this recipe with the cheese made especially out of the dairy from our organic cows!
For the rosehip jam, you need only four ingredients; rosehips, half a lemon, sugar and water. However, what presents a little challenge is halving and de-seeding the hips before beginning. This can be a surprisingly lengthy process so make sure you try to allot a good amount of time for it.
To do this, cut the stems and bases off the hips, then slice them in half and scoop out the seeds however be wary of the hairs as they can make your hands itch after a little while.
1kg rosa rugosa rosehips (will weigh approx 550g once deseeded)
100 g caster sugar
- Begin by adding just enough water to cover the de-seeded rosehips (add too much and the resulting jam will be too runny) and bring to a slow simmer.
- Allow them to continue simmering for about 20 minutes, mashing regularly with a potato masher.
- You should have a nice thick pulpy liquid at the end of the 20 minutes. Push the pulp through a sieve so you can catch all the odd seeds and hard bits of hip that inevitably get missed in the preparation, though you will end up losing a little of the pulp of course too.
- Weigh the rosehip pulp and put it back in the pan with an equal amount of sugar and the juice of half a lemon. 1kg of rosehip pulp and 1 kg of sugar will make about 6 to 8 average sized jars.
- Bring to a gentle boil for about 10 minutes or until the jam has thickened to your desired consistency. Try to avoid boiling for too long though as you don’t want to destroy too much of the precious vitamin C that the rosehips rich in!
- Transfer the finished jam to pre-sterilised jars and enjoy by spreading lavishly on your bread/crackers of choice with a little cheese.
Written by: Whispering Earth on Wordpress
Warning: The roses mustn’t have been sprayed with anything in the preceding months i.e. pesticide/fungicide
We may wish to mention using hips from native roses like Dog Roses (Rosa canina) – which are often found in hedgerows – as well as non-native Rosa rugosa (often found in hedgerows as garden escapees too).