This syrup can be poured over porridge, plain yoghurt, pancakes or ice cream or used as a cordial to mix with sparkling water. Rosehips have a lovely fruity flavour and are high in vitamin C, but you need to be careful when preparing them. Their seeds are coated in tiny hairs which are an irritant (they were once used to make itching powder). To make life easy, we chop our rosehips in the food processor, and then pass the cooked liquid through a double layer of muslin, avoiding as little actual contact with the insides of the fruit as possible.
Traditional wisdom would have you pick rosehips after the first frost when they would be sweeter, but as frosts are a rarity now we create our own by putting the hips in the freezer overnight.
- 400g rosehips
- About 200g granulated sugar
- Wash and drain the rosehips and trim off and discard the green stems. Pat the rosehips dry and put them into a freezer bag or other freezer-proof container. Freeze the hips overnight and defrost them a couple of hours before you are ready to make the syrup.
- Put the defrosted rosehips into a food processor and blitz them to a pulp (or chop with a knife – we recommend wearing gloves when handling the chopped fruit).
- Put the fruit pulp into a saucepan with 700ml water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15–20 minutes, until the fruit is completely soft.
- Line a sieve with a double layer of muslin and set it over a large bowl or jug. Pour in the pulp and liquid, and leave it to drip through.
- You should end up with about 320ml of liquid. For every 80ml of liquid, measure out 50g of sugar. Put the sugar and strained liquid into a clean pan. Slowly bring to a boil, stirring gently to dissolve the sugar, then simmer 5 minutes.
- Pour the hot syrup into sterilised bottles leaving a small gap at the top, and put on the lids.Refrigerate once opened.
Recipe and photos by Otherwise for Wild Food UK