Gathering rosehips and making syrup

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

gathering rosehips and making rosehip syrup recipe
Rosehips confuse me. There are more types than just the one I understood a 'rose hip' to be. Each autumn I see a lot of these big,plump juicy looking hips on bushes nearby. This year, I made it our mission to pick some and to make some syrup. 
gathering rosehips and making rosehip syrup recipe
Mmmm, they do look delightful. As it turned out the season was already a good way through, many hips were a bit manky and soft so it took more effort to not pick the bad ones. Next year I will have to be quicker off the mark.
gathering rosehips and making rosehip syrup recipe
 These little pink plastic trugs were so handy for picking them. We struggled to find all that many of the little traditional bullet hips from the dog rose, a large haul of the (right) Japanese hips.
gathering rosehips and making rosehip syrup recipe

gathering rosehips and making rosehip syrup recipe
One thing I did overlook was that it was a bit of a prickly job as roses do have thorns. So more care had to be taken. Ouch.
gathering rosehips and making rosehip syrup recipe

I wore my new jacket from Lighthouse to keep out the draught. Love the colours!
gathering rosehips and making rosehip syrup recipe
In a very satisfying manner, we found all we needed within walking distance of home, which gave a particularly local feeling to the forage.
gathering rosehips and making rosehip syrup recipe
I had two recipes in mind, one for each hip. Both required a rinse and weigh up. Then a swift macerate. The bullet hips were a b*tch it really has to be said, as they flatly refused to be chopped in the food processor and rattled around like marbles until I admitted defeat and arduously chopped a bit into each one. 
gathering rosehips and making rosehip syrup recipe
The softer Japanese beauties chopped up in a couple of pulses. Far more convenient. It's worth mentioning to anyone unfamiliar with hips that the seeds are known as itching powder, so mind where they go. I have a brilliant memory of chucking some down my brother's back when we were little (for which I was told off for) and he did end up crying. So be careful.
gathering rosehips and making rosehip syrup recipe
The two recipes varied wildly with the ratios of water and sugar to hips. In my opinion neither really hit the mark. One was virtually solid and the other was like dishwater, so my advice is to judge it yourself.
For the wetter mix the recommendation here suggested 2 litres of water to 1kg of fruit, which was very watery (it suggested straining and more water again, which I declined to do), then half the amount of brown sugar as fruit.
gathering rosehips and making rosehip syrup recipe

gathering rosehips and making rosehip syrup recipe
The fruit and water mix strained through muslins. It does look grim at this point.
Then after a lonnnng drippy strain and a messy squeeze, it's back to the pan for the liquor and to stir in the sugar.
gathering rosehips and making rosehip syrup recipe
Top: the dog rose very thick syrup with white sugar (recipe from the hedgerow cookbook which I bought and am totally in love with). I did add more water at the fruit boiling stage as it did seem very sticky-dry.
gathering rosehips and making rosehip syrup recipe
We bought cute Kilner bottles especially. I haven't tried the thick one yet but the dark runny one is an absolute joy each morning, I have a tablespoon of it after breakfast. It's packed with vitamin C and a whole lotta get-up-n-go (non quantifiable 'doing you good' things).
gathering rosehips and making rosehip syrup recipe
Does it taste like roses? Not at all, but a sweet, fruity flavour. Quite a delight.
Sophie

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3 comments

  1. interesting read. there seems to be so many different ways to get to the same end result. I'm loving mine and hope to get out and pick some more so I don't run out too soon!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Will you be picking sloe berries soon too? Best picked after the first frost of autumn for the most spectacular sloe gin!

    ReplyDelete
  3. My Mum makes rosehip syrup. It is very good for colds! Well done for doing this!x

    ReplyDelete

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