As I walked passed the glowing orange rose hips on the exquisite climbing rose, Mme Gregoire Staechlin, I knew that it was time to make Rosehip Jelly, a must for when I’m putting together both cheese and charcuterie boards. But yet again, I could not find the recipe that I normally use, and could not remember which book it was in, so made it from memory…
The day before yesterday I did a quick search on my computer (why didn’t I do that earlier?) and there it was, all written up nicely, including details of the source! The recipe that I had been looking for is from the beautiful book, salt sugar smoke by Diana Henry.
Clearly, I need to take more time to record, and safely store recipes that I find and use! Just last night I was up until after midnight searching for a recipe that I had seen in a French magazine for curing pork fillet (pork tenderloin/fillet mignon de porc), fortunately I found it. What a relief as I had just collected some amazing pork fillet that I had ordered specifically for this recipe, from the farm at Eagle Hawk Creek Farm Produce. Another post to write, and another recipe to try out, and this time, carefully record and store… But I digress!
Just a little about rosehips –
The rosehip is the accessory fruit that forms at the base of the beautiful rose flower after successful pollination in spring and early summer. Obviously if you want hips to form, dead heading of your roses is to be avoided, but you will be rewarded from late summer through to autumn, when the fruits ripen adding a splash of colour to the garden, as well as providing you with produce to be taken into the kitchen to turn into jelly.
And a little history –
You know that during World War II, the people of Britain were encouraged to rediscover the benefits of foraging, in particular foraging for wild vegetation in order to add more variety to, and boost their allocation of rationed food.
With the war on, it wasn’t possible to import fruits such as oranges, so there was particular interest in the rosehip, high in vitamin C and readily available during late summer and autumn. With concern that young children were not receiving adequate vitamin C in their diet, The Ministry of Health and the Department of Health for Scotland arranged a campaign whereby organisations such as schools, boy scouts, girl guides and women’s institutes were encouraged to collect rosehips from gardens and hedgerows and take them to collection points. The hips were then taken and processed into syrup by commercial companies.
With the final product available from shops, it was said that one teaspoonful of the pleasant tasting syrup provided half the vitamin C needs of a child. The syrup was only for young children, and was not meant to be used by one and all to add a bit more variety and taste to their daily diet.
Now, back to the recipe for the Rosehip Jelly.
I have changed it a little, adding more notes, or simplifying steps. It is such a rewarding jelly to make, and with the finished product stored in your larder, you will find yourself reaching for it, not only to add to cheese and charcuterie boards, or top scones with, it is also wonderful served with pork and game, and is a great addition to a jus to be served alongside meat dishes. Who knows, maybe it will also appear alongside the pork fillet that I am about to cure!
This recipe is from the book Salt sugar smoke (2012) by Diana Henry, I have altered some of the instructions, but it is not far from the original version. A great accompaniment to game, pork and cheese, rosehip jelly is also wonderful spread on scones and toast. Diana also likes to serve rosehip jelly as an alternative to figs with parma ham.
I like to serve it as part of a cheese or charcuterie board.
- 600 g rosehips
- 1 kg cooking apples
Cut all the rosehips off their stalks and wash, discarding any that are bruised, damaged, soft and mushy or shrivelled.
Cut the rose hips in half (you may want to wear gloves for this as the the furry bits inside the fruit can irritate your skin and make you itchy).
Wash and cut the apples (including the cores and skin) into big chunks and put them into a large saucepan with the rosehips, and then add enough water to cover the fruit.
Bring to a boil, before reducing to a gentle simmer.
Cook for 45 minutes to an hour, crushing the rosehips every so often to help them break down (I use a potato masher to help to crush the rosehips) The fruit should be completely soft and pulpy.
When cool, ladel the mixture into a jelly bag suspended over a bowl and leave to stand for at least 12 hours.
Discard the pulp and measure the juice, pouring the juice into a preserving pan.
For every 600ml of juice, add 450 g of white sugar.
Place the pan over medium heat, and stir from time to time, until the sugar dissolves.
Once the sugar has dissolved, bring to a boil and boil for 10-15 minutes, until setting point is reached (104.5˚C)
Test for set. (See Glossary)
Skim off any scum.
Pour into warm, dry sterilised jars, cover and seal.
When cold, label and store in a cool, dark place until required
- It's easiest to use your secateurs to snip the hips from the rose bush.
- Pick the berries just before you want to use them.
- Do not try to squeeze any extra juice from the pulp in the jelly bag, as this will result in a cloudy jelly.
- To learn how to test for set refer to the Glossary section of my blog.
Until next time happy gardening and bon appétit!
Links & Sources
- Eagle Hawk Creek Farm Produce
- Rosehip Jelly
- salt, sugar, smoke (2012) Diana Henry, Mitchel Beazley, p 48