It’s been raining hard down here on the south coast and today at last we were lucky enough to see the big yellow thing in the sky! Sunshine! So without further due I was out with basket in hand gathering the rosehips. My favorite jewels of the fruit forages crown the beautiful romantic rosehips. What a word go on whisper it, listen to her name “rosehips” as it leaves your lips. (it feels like a kiss does it not?)
Rose plants are native to Asia but many originate from Europe, North America, and northwest Africa. These beautiful plants delight us in the summer with their fragrant flowers that in turn return as jewels of the forest, in the form of the hips. I do enjoy this plant it looks as good as it tastes the petals make a wonderful jam , and she returns to feed us once more in the winter months with a hip, which is beautiful and tastes unique.
This beauty has been around for a while and was first documented in history in the first century AD by Pithany the Elder who wrote many books one of them “Book 24 :Drugs obtained from the Forest Tress” which mentions the health benefits and cures from rosehips. The plant gets another brief outing in history again during the Middle-Ages, being labelled as a sacred gift. It was grown in church yards and the Catholics would use the hips to make their rosary. (The Rosary!). It appears in the history books again in full battle dress to help out during the war as these little gems of the forest are not only wonderful to taste, but are high in vitamin C, it is perhaps one of the richest plant sources of this vitamin. I am lead to believe it rivals the orange! But did you know that it also contains the vitamins E, A and D, alongside antioxidant flavonoids so get picking.
Which is just want I did today I popped over to the Chewton Glen where I forage their fruit and hedgerows to make jam for the hotel. And today I made rosehip syrup.
And here is the recipe.
- 1 kg of rosehips
- 5 litres of water
- 350g of sugar
- Top and tail the rose hips and pop them into a food process for a short wiz to chop them up. (if not use gloves and chop the hips up to as small as you can manage)
- Place hips into your jam pan (or large saucepan and add 1.5 litres of water bring to the boil and simmer for 15 -20 minutes or so. Strain the pulp through a jelly bag and let it drip, for at least 20 minutes once cold enough squeeze as much liquid as possible through the bag.
- Once you have completed this return the hips to the pan and repeat the process, using the rest of the water. And again drip through your bag.
- Take all your collected juice and place into a large wide pan and simmer until you have 1 litre of hip juice left add the sugar and stir don’t boil the syrup until all the sugar has been dissolved. Bring to the boil and skim of any scum.
- Finally pour into sterilized bottles or jars, lid and keep in cool place. This should keep up to 3 months.