This took me back to rose hip picking as a child with my mum and dad from around the village green. This time we were in zone 2 London, but the pickings were just as good.
Rose hips are the fruit of the rose plant and are particularly high in vitamin C – one of the richest plant sources available.
This method is the simplest and best for making rose hip syrup, from River Cottage. The double-straining ensures that the tiny, irritant hairs found inside rosehips are removed.
As you’ll see, we foraged so responsibly we didn’t have enough to complete one bottle even! Ah well, a little of this delicious, uniquely flavoured syrup goes a long way. Have with yoghurt, porridge, ice cream, French toast, howev’s!
Makes 1litre | a little effort
1kg rose hips
Sterilise a couple of bottles and vinegar-proof screw-tops or stoppers by washing thoroughly in hot soapy water, rinsing well, then putting them on a tray in a low oven (at 120°C/Gas 1⁄2) to dry out and heat up.
Roughly chop the rosehips in a food processor in batches, 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.
Wash out the muslin, or cut a fresh piece, fold to double it and pass the strained juice through it again.
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 with a funnel, into the prepared bottles and seal. Label when the bottles have cooled completely.
This will keep for up to four months as long as you refridgerate once opened.