You can spread rosehip jam on toast, apple slices, scones, roast pork or lamb. You can spread some on pound cake or shortbread cookies — or better yet, you can bake some shortbread cookies, pressing the centers down gently with your thumb, and before they are done baking, fill the dents with rosehip jelly. Yum!
The best part is that you can make your own rosehip jelly, and it’s not even as difficult as you may think it is. Just check out this recipe that Heidi Morrill shared with us.
Rosehips are packed with seeds and fine hairs, and the hairs can work through a jelly bag or layers of cheesecake, making the final product less palatable. So Morrill cuts off the blossom end and cuts every hip in two to remove as much of that as possible.
Rosehips are also rich in vitamin C. During World War II, because it was so difficult to import citrus, British people were encouraged make vitamin C syrup from wild rosehips.
In a pot, add 5 cups of cleaned rosehips and 4 to 5 cups of water. Simmer for 20 minutes, mash and allow to sit overnight before straining/draining through 4 layers of cheesecloth (or a jelly bag). This should result in 4 cups of strained rosehip juice.
In a pot, add 4 cups of strained rose hip juice, between half and 1 whole cup lemon juice and 1 packet of pectin crystals. Let it boil hard, and then add 4.5 to 5 cups of sugar carefully. Boil for 1 more minute or so and remove from heat.
The jelly smells almost savory, like stewing tomatoes, Morrill said. Not surprisingly, it has a rosy hue and a complex flavor, which is why it tastes as great on sweets as it does on savory dishes.
Heidi Morrill cooks, gardens and harvests wild edibles as hobbies in Atlantic Canada. She also builds computers and dreams of inventing the self-cleaning house.