Foraging rosehips is pretty easy, I often read it can be prickly and time consuming but no more so than blackberries in my humble opinion. Less staining. I think the point of foraging is to spend the time outdoors and once I have spent 10 mins rummaging through the coat pile by the door merrily singing ‘where is my coat’ to the tune of The Pixies where is my mind, I can very much enjoy spending an entire day out and about seeing what we can find to use creatively and purposefully.
There are a few different shapes and sizes of rosehips you will have noticed, the ones you see on the sides of dual carriageways and in parks are the larger ornamental varieties. Wild rosehips look like this *air hostess hands*Wild roses propegate solely by their hips (swit-swoo!) The birds are attracted to them as they soften, and disperse the indigestible seeds as they go about their business um doing their business.. They are different to the cultivated kinds as they grow more vigorously making great barrier planting to contain hordes of marauding animals or children (whichever) not always welcomed by gardeners so check that rosehips on managed land have not been treated with anything.
Another thing I am always reading about rosehips is how they are better after the first frost when they have softened a little, even better with the frost still on (good luck with that!) I personally have not found many to be left by then anyway and prefer them to be fresh with plenty of vit C. I managed to pick around 4 lbs.Which I have put to use in wine, jams and jelly’s and I intend to go back for more shortly to make rosehip vodka (how hipster!) and dry some for teas.
We were gifted a dehydrator for drying berries, herbs, flowers, mushrooms and nuts, it even does meat, and has no less than 8 drawers! (my mum’s better than your mum ;-p) The lowest oven setting with a tea towel sometimes works, they scorch easily. I have also seen the most beautiful images of fresh rosehip garlands on the voodoo time stealing portholes of Instagram and Pinterest, but they wrinkle, soften and go mushy after a couple of days so I dont really get it, unless all you have to do is take lovely photos for your Instagram account ;-). I dont recommend drying them that way, it wont work. It would be a way to store them after drying if you can find a reason to dry them whole.
They would make nice decorations over the festive period, on wreaths or tree garlands, just thread a darning needle with dental floss and string them on 🙂
Starting with the recipes where you use the whole rosehip and strain, we have the very popular:
1.Rosehip and crab apple Jelly.
The Key Points to remember are 1pt/600ml of strained juice to 1lb/454g of white granulated sugar
and the setting point is around 104 0c
I used a river cottage recipe and ignored endless debates about vit C. (Its full of sugar anyway my lovelies) I just like the way it tastes 😉 Im not a massive sugar addict so I reduce the quantities and make less or give some away. I also do not have aluminium pans which apparently spoil the tase. Turns out this jelly can be a bit controversial you know!
- 1.5kg crab apples (or cooking apples)
- 500g rosehips
- Around 900g granulated sugar
Pick over your fruit, removing stalks and leafy bits and rinsing the rosehips.
Blitz the rosehips in a food processor to roughly chop them.
Don’t peel or core the apples (the peel and core are an excellent source of pectin), just chop them roughly.
Place all the prepared fruit in a saucepan with 1.2 litres water.
Bring gently to simmering point and simmer until all the fruit is soft and pulpy. Remove from the heat.
Have ready a scalded jelly bag or muslin cloth and turn the contents of the pan into it. Leave to drip overnight.
The next day, measure the juice – you will probably have about 1.2 litres.
For every 600ml juice, allow 450g sugar. Put the juice into a large pan and bring slowly to the boil.
Add the sugar as it just comes to the boil and keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
Then boil rapidly, without stirring, for 9–10 minutes until setting point is reached.
Skim the jelly then pot and seal as quickly as possible. Use within 12 months. Excellent with roast pork.
NB: If you dont have a jam thermometer (and even if you do) you will likely need to perform ‘The wrinkle test’ (dont worry this isnt about us just the jam)
We may as well do syrup next since its fairly similar and just as popular -it used to be made in the war by teams who would compete to pick the most rosehips. The hips were then turned into syrup and children were given a spoonful aday to increase their vit C as other fruits were lacking. Again I’m not recommending the recipe here will do that. It tastes lovely on and in desserts and yogurt though 🙂
2. Rosehip syrup
- 1kg rosehips, trimmed and washed
- About 500g granulated sugar
Sterilise your bottles/jars in the usual way
Roughly chop the rosehips in a food processor then transfer to a large saucepan and add 1.25 litres water.
Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for around 15 minutes.
Strain through a double layer of muslin, letting the pulp sit for a good half hour so that all the juice passes through.
Measure the rosehip juice into a large saucepan.
For every 500ml, add 325g sugar.
Heat slowly, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil and boil for 3 minutes, skimming off any scum if necessary.
Decant immediately into the prepared bottles and seal.
Label when the bottles have cooled completely.
Use within 4 months and refrigerate once opened.
3. Rosehip schnapps!
clean and trim the rosehips
add them to your jar leaving a couple of inches at the top, fill with vodka! et voila
leave to soak in a cupboard for around 3 months. Perfect for Christmas/Newyear. Decant into bottles. Great gifts 😉
4. Rosehip wine!
1.5kg rose hips
1 teaspoon citric acid (or 1 orange and 1 lemon)
1 teaspoon pectin enzyme/pectolase
1 teaspoon of yeast nutrient
1 gallon boiling water
Wash the rose hips to remove any dirt and then crush them and place into into your fermentation vessel, add the sugar then pour on boiling water. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool, add the pectin enzyme and give the mixture a good stir. cover and leave for 24 hours. Add the citric acid or orange and lemon juice, the yeast nutrient and the wine yeast. Put the lid on the fermentation bucket and allow to ferment on the pulp for 10 days, giving the mixture a good stir each day.
Strain through a muslin cloth (the seeds have little hairs that will irritate)
and put into a demijohn, fit an airlock to seal the jar.
Store in a warm place and allow the fermentation to work. When fermentation has ceased, rack the wine into a clean jar and place in a cooler environment and leave.
When the wine is clear and stable siphon into bottles.
*I am still at the fermentation stage and will come back to update photos!* *updated*
If you’re not going to strain the cooked rose hips through muslin and discard all but the juice (as per jelly, syrup, wine and shcnapps) then they will need de-seeding, this is labour intensive (I read) and that was putting it mildly. I wanted to kill myself after about a pound and only managed another half pound more. You can do a couple of more pounds if you like but I’ll be over here living a life without permanenlty cramped fingers and a starving to death family. Anyway after all that labouring of the point they made a very tasty jam that was quite worth it. I’d never guess I could like jam that much. You will also need to de-seed them for drying to make tea or use in bread (yum)
So here goes this is my own jam recipe 🙂
5. Rosehip Jam
2.5 lbs of rosehips (deseed 1.5lbs)
2 cooking apples
200g crab apples (or a cooking apple)
4 tbspn lemon juice
2/3 rose heads (grown without chemicals, you dont want to eat pesticide!)
wash and trim the rosehips
deseed 1.5 lbs by choping in half and sccoping out the seeds, a handle of a teaspoon or bottle opener works well
add the 4 tbspns of lemon juice to your deseeded batch
blitz the rest of your rosehips in the food processor
roughly chop all but one of your apples (inc the crab apples if using these)
peel the orange, peel and core your remaining apple, and grate the flesh of this apple into the pan with the deseeded hips and the lemon juice
combine the blitzed hips the peel and core and the roughly chopped apples together into a second pan
Add 1.5 litres of water to this second pan
Cook til soft with the lid on.
Add the segements from your orange to your deseeded batch which has the lemon juice and grated apple in
Add half a litre of water to this pan and boil to soften
prepare a colander with a sheet of clean muslin over a bowl and strain yor cooked ‘peel mixture’. Squeeze as much through as you can when its cool enough, we need the pectin.
Add this juice, which should hopefully look thick, to your pan with the de-seeded rosehips, on a medium heat
Add 2 lbs of granulated sugar and stir to dissolve
Turn up the heat and add 1/2 tspn of butter -this helps with the foaming
Once a rolling boil is established turn down a med/high heat and cook for around 25 mins til setting point is reached 104 oc
complete the wrinkle test described above for jelly to check (you might notice it is setting on spoons you have used)
shred some fresh rose petals and add as you ladel the hot mixture into your warm sterilised jars.
Fill to the top and seal
luxurious on toast. A special bed in breakfast treat for a loved one. Perhaps with some..
6.Rosehip bread rolls
With bacon? and drizzled in maple syrup too? go on then.I will let you google a basic white bread roll recipe and look at the picture of one I made for inspiration. Rosehips need to be deseeded and just add them into the dough after the first prove (extra ingredients before then can weigh it down)when you divided your mixture have a go as shaping the rolls. The rosehips are tart like apple and go well with the same flavours that apple does. Cheese will be a good bet 😉 I used traditional nettle wrapped Cornish Yarg.
Pretty straightforward I think! Once you’ve de-seeded your hips you can dry them as described above, or use them quickly whilst they’re still fresh. I just add them to the centre of my tea pot in the diffuser, or use them as you would loose tea; put them in the pot and get the strainer out. They ar full of antioxidants, and as mentioned Vitamin C. (no controvery about metal pans, heat or sugar here lol)
1 cup of rosehips, freshly picked or dry
Rinse clean and trim the rosehips. Chop them up roughly with a knife (or whiz in a processor)
Place the rosehips pieces into a slow-cooker set on a low setting. Slowly add in your carrier oil (almond is usually good for creams and lip balms, I made some with olive oil and didnt like it, greasy and a fatty taste that competed with the delicate flavour if youre adding extract of something instead you can probably get away with it)
Let the mixture simmer for four to eight hours. Keep an eye on it -don’t leave it all day, its hot oil (and they could also fry and burn)
Strain the oil mixture through a jelly strainer or piece of cheesecloth/muslin. To ensure that the oil is as clear as possible, fold the muslin into a three- or four-layer square and stretch it over a bowl using a rubber elastic. Strain the oil through until it runs clear. The anti-oxidants and vitamins make it an excellent skin care product, apparently sought after by all the celebs!
9. Candied rosehips. oh yeah! look fab on your fruit loaf and are tasty and you can snack onthem too obvs!
2:1 sugar:water ratio for howerver many hips you have
Clean trim and de-seed as described above. If you do them whole they take longer and your syrup will dry asdescribed on one blog, but you wouldnt likely want to eat the hairy seeds? remember those?) Add the solution to the pan and bring to the boil slowly, add rose hip halves and boil for 10 mins. Remove the hips from the syrup and spread them to cool.
When cool, roll the hips in granulated sugar and spread thinly on waxed paper to dry. Store in an airtight container.
10. Those garlands I mentioned earlier! -though if you think thats a cop out you could make rosehip ripple iceream with your syrup.
**UPDATE ROSEHIP LIP BALM! I’M TYPING UP A POST ABOUT MAKING LIP BALMS NOW**
yes! Im Done!