|Rose hip, autumn in a bawl!|
|get rid of bad fruit, leaves and tails|
Rose hip was used in the old days mainly as dried fruit, a steamy brew. Rose hip was recommended in the winter months as it was believed to prevent flu, colds and bust the immune system, later scientists discovered that the wild rose hip has twenty times more Vitamin C than oranges.
These days it is considered a delicacy, but I suspect there are few places you can buy it from, it is fairly uncommon and can only be found in speciality shops in small quantities but I am delighted to see that it is also getting recognised by those interested in foraging, food explorers and alternative medicine.
|raw inside of of rose hip|
I have been making rose hip jam since I was a teenager, I remember as child, me and my neighbours were sent out with 5 kg buckets to pick them from the edges around our gardens and country lanes around the neighbourhood and the edge of the forest which was only 500 meters away. It was a away to spend a couple of weekend days in the fresh air and we were being useful too! We used to muck about, play cowboys and Indians, climb trees and look for fox burrows, but we knew that we couldn't go home with empty hands.
|raw rose hip sliced in half|
Since we have been together, me and my husband often go for walks and usually we have a rucksack and bags with us in case we see something worth picking. Well this Sunday, we came across two medium size rose hip bushes so we picked some of the fruit
Now if you do decide to adventure out to find rose hip and start picking, as winter is approaching and food will be scares for birds, be considerate and leave 1/4 of them on for the birds!
On with the recipe!
For around 2.5 litres of jam you need:
2 kg of wild rose hip
700 grams sugar
1 fresh lemon (juice only)
Jars, lids and labels
Cooking time 2 hr, prep time from 2-4 hrs.
|Washing rose hips|
Now, cover with water, double the amount of water to the quantity of rose hips. Set to boil until they become mushy.
Whilst you are waiting for it to boil, get your recycled jars and lids cleaned with soapy water, rinse really well and put on a tray with the opening facing up ready to be sterilised, more on that later as we get closer to the fin time.
|Cleaned with warm soapy water, labels removed, these recycled jars serve a great purpose|
Check the hips by picking one and let it cool the attempt to squish it between your fingers if it breaks and has a mushy texture( not the pips, they will continue to stay hard :) ), then they are ready.
|boiled rose hip|
Basically, not it will be the time when you start doubting whether you should have started this at all and will there be any jam at the end of the day? Bare with, stay positive, it will happen, I promise!
If you have a strainer attachment to your kitchen robot you are in luck because it saves you about an hour, I din't so I had to do it almost the old fashion way. I say almost because i used the blender to mush them rather than the potato musher
You can see here, I added some to the blender then added some water from the pan too, otherwise the blender will not work, few seconds and the skin is separated from them pips.
Once all blended you can start straining it, first get rid of the pips through a strain, now you need to get the muslin bag, cloth or sieve and start straining several time, washing the muslin and sieve in between. I have done it 6 time to be sure that there is little or no hairs, they can irritate the mouth and digestive tract if ingested.
Now you should have a orange red, smooth liquid of single cream consistency and you are ready to start making the jam, yeye! Put it all in a non stick pan or two and get it boiled to half until you have a yogurt like consistency.
When it gets to the right viscosity you are ready to add the sugar, and the lemon juice( its a must if you want the colour to stay vivid, otherwise you will get a red brown colour) stirring continuously until the sugar has melted and the colour has changed to a deep red. From here is just like an other jam recipe.
At this point you need to get the jars and lids in the oven to sterilise, preheat the oven to 140 degrees Celsius and put in the oven for about 20 min, try to time it with the jam.
and the rose hip jam is bottled
|don't fill the jars to much|
Cover up with a few towels or a fleece like me to allow that jam to cool down slowly, after at least 12 hr you are read to label and store it. of course don't forget to save some on the side to be eaten on the day, as you will feel like you deserve it after all work! I made pancakes, all can say is yum yum!