Right. So last time I updated I mentioned I had managed to pick a lot (and I mean A LOT) of rose hips. I actually have about 3kg of them and I am trying to work out what to do.
Today was the first opportunity I had to get in the kitchen, so I decided to make a test batch of rose hip syrup.
Rose hip syrup is great stuff for people with a serious sweet tooth (like me). It's great as a drink when mixed with hot or cold water (kind of like a cordial) and goes really well with a simple vanilla ice cream or as a substitute to honey on your muesli or porridge. Yum. Rose hips are also one of the best sources of vitamin c you can find, so there's a health bonus to this stuff whilst you're getting your sugar fix. Win win!
So to whip up a little batch of this stuff to try, you're going to need:
225g/8oz Rose hips
450ml/3/4 pint water
You are also going to need a sieve/jelly bag/clean tea towel, a medium saucepan, a sharp knife (or a blender if you're lazy) and a couple of small bottles or jars to put your syrup in once you're done.
Chop your rose rose hips up roughly, or wazz them in the blender a couple of times - you don't want to pulverise them, just rough them up a bit - and put them to one side whilst you boil the water and dissolve all the sugar in it. Next, add your rose hips, half cover the pan and cook gently for about an hour, adding more water every now and again if it looks like things are getting a bit too dense and sticky.
Next, pour through your sieve or jelly bag or tea towel into a suitable receptacle like a jug. Press the cooked rose hips with the back of a fork or spoon to wring as much of that juice out as possible. Once they're spent, put the hips to one side and pour the syrup back through the sieve again to filter the liquid a little. The result should be about 200/300ml (between 1/3 and 1/2 a pint) of fiery orange sauce.
Place the sauce in a de-seeded, cleaned saucepan and bring it back up to the boil. Pour into hot, sterilised jars or bottles and seal. Leave to cool. Store in a dark, cool cupboard (or the fridge, once you've opened it).
Not a bad batch. Next time I might be tempted to boil the rose hips and water first and then add the sugar to the mix once I've sieved the juice (less sticky, especially if you're using a tea towel or something similar as a filter). But otherwise I am pretty pleased with this little kitchen adventure.