As well as enjoying begin outside, I quite like eating what I find outside. A few weeks back I made Rosehip syrup, a delicious fruit drink that can be added to sparkling water, fruit salads or drizzled over ice cream. Its bring autumn to your plate with its bright orange colour and earthy but citrusy taste. Beware eating them raw off the plant though as they have little flesh compared to size and are packed with hairs which can be irritating to eat unless removed (much like fish bones).
It is packed with Vitamin C, up to 10 times the amount of an orange, so good for you skin, hair and nails to! These delicious red fruits can be found along hedge rows, growing amongst the famous thorns of any rose, so wear gloves when picking them. Like all things from wild, make sure you have the land owner permission and only take as many as you need. Alternatively they are fairly easy plants to grow and have decorative pink flowers in July/Aug and rich bright red fruits in Sept/Oct. Be sure to experiment and play with rosehips at least once in your life as they can be made into a variety of different edibles including oils, tea, or dried for infusing.
What you need
Sterilised bottles (See hints). An alternative to bottling is to use an ice cube tray and freeze the syrup .
Labels for said bottles- not essential but always good to mark what is in a bottle and when it was made.
4 pints (2.2 liters) of water
2.5 lbs (1.1 kg) of Rosehips
For every 500ml of juice made in step 8 use 325g of caster sugar. Amounts can vary but it is around 700g sugar
Freshly squeezed lemon
Large cooking pot/ saucepan
- Wash the rose hips and remove leaves, stems and ear wigs that may come with them!
- Boil up 3 pints (1.7 litres) of water in a large saucepan
- Roughly shop the rosehips then put in a food processor with only a little water until you have a paste like consistency
- Remove from heat and let it cool off a little
- Strain through a double layer of muslin, let the pulp sit and the juice drain through, don’t force it otherwise you will get a lot of the hair like fibers in the syrup. You can restrain the juice again after this is you feel you need to.
- Wash Muslin and repeat process till you have strained all the pulp into juice. It is at this point that it is possible to recook the dried pulp left in the muslin for a longer time than before to get more juice, but this will make a weaker batch. It is up to how you feel.
- Pour the juice into a large saucepan and add 1.5 pints of fresh water, add the juice of a lemon and boil again for around 15 minutes
- Heat slowly allowing the sugar to dissolve then bring to the boil for 5 minutes skimming off the scum.
- Decant into the sterile bottles as soon as possible and seal when cool enough
- Consume within 4-5 months of making. Ideal as a Christmas present!
1) As the syrup can go off in around a week or so after opening, it is probably best to use to to larger bottle.
2)You can sterilise bottles in a number of ways. Washing them in normal hot soapy water and then heating them in the oven for a few minutes at 140°C is one way to use as few chemicals as possible.If you re using a cork to seal the bottle, the corks should be boiled for hour previously and after insertion coated with melted wax. Otherwise a good fitting srew top should work just as well.
3) Store in a dark cupboard.