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Monday, November 03, 2008

Rosehip jelly

There was a big pile of rose cuttings in the garden and they were covered in rosehips; not being one with a high tolerance of wastefulness I set about cutting them off with plans to make some delicious thing or other.

Then the little red hips sat in my fridge for a few days while i was too busy.
Eventually I got round to dealing with them but quite a lot had gone soggy and or mouldy so the initial crop was quite whittled down.

It was surprisingly difficult to find recipes for rosehips. I found several for rowan berries in my assortment of ancient recipe books, even though rowan is less spoken of generally in life, and i rather suspect, considerably less palatable than rosehip.

I did find one however, in May Byron's Pot Luck, an old favourite.

And it was very true about how awkward they are to prepare, covered in fine sharp hairs than get under your fingernails and apparently in another recipe ( which I ignored) one is expected to not only top and tail but de-seed and peel them before boiling up! This is preposterous as you will discover if you try it yourself.

Rosehips are said to be incredibly high in vitamin C content so the tiny jar of jelly that resulted from my efforts ought perhaps to be viewed as a sort of winter medicine rather than Jam. It also tastes very sharp (and delicious) and is probably best suited as an accompaniment for game rather than for bread and butter.

The method is simple as for all these jellies made of indigestible fruits: Get your rosehips, top and tail them (mind all the sharp bits) stick em in a saucepan with a minimum of water, boil up till soft, force through a sieve, add a quantity of sugar, boil down till thick and pasty and cram into a sterile jar.

Amazing how sugar can make food of almost anything.

Yum Yum Rosehip Jelly


  1. Amazing! I've never heard of this! And does it taste like roses? Do you have to make sure your roses are unsprayed?

  2. i am not sure it tastes of roses but there is a sense of something rosy in there. Its really very sharp and tangy. It is definitely better not to not spray the roses particularly after the petals fall as that is when the fruit starts growing.
    I am not a believe in chemical sprays anyway as they are toxic. But I believe you can make effective spray using eco-friendly washing up liqiud that is very safe, also chilli peppers crushed and squashed in water is a good natural anti-bug spray. I ahve seen flwoer growers using it in the ecuadorian rainforest. Strong chilli - the stronger the better. Chillis are hot precisely to protect themselves from insects but its harmless to us - we eat it - and to other wildlife like birds etc.

  3. Thanks for the advice!