I always wanted to start a cooking blog as I love cooking and wanted to share my creations with the blogosphere. However, I am a very messy cook and although some would say that is to my downfall; I say that being uberneat takes away from the joy of creation. (I am also lucky enough to have a husband who likes eating and doesn’t mind cleaning up)
That being said, I started a gardening blog as I love to garden and it doesn’t require much in the way of setting up shots. Garden porn seems a lot easier to produce than food porn and so here we are.
After all that I still want to include some recipes where the garden has inspired me and during and end of summer is definitely about dealing with gluts.
About now is when rosehips are becoming ripe; some say after the first frost but since this is a blog about urban gardening, there may not be a ‘first frost’ where you live.
Rosehips are the fruit of the rose plant and all roses will fruit but most people don’t end up seeing the fruit as we are all told to increase flowering we should deadhead.
The most popular rose bushes to collect the hips from are the Dog rose (Rosa canina) or the larger Japanese rose (Rosa rugosa). You could make rose hip recipes from any rose hips but these two make the best flavours apparently.
We have one Dog rose growing up the fence on our allotment that grew reasonable sized hips and since no one seemed interested I harvested them to make rose hip syrup. Rose hip syrup is very high in Vitamin C and can be used on breakfast things (porridge, pancakes or waffles) or in drinks such as presse or cocktails. Surprisingly, rose hips don’t taste like roses at all but like a cross between apple and something tropical; roses are related to apple so that makes some sense.
Picking rose hip after the first frost is claimed to make them sweeter but perhaps the frost just makes them juicier; you can simulate this by putting the hips in the freezer for the night. (picture below are before and after although they can become squishy on the plant as well)
To make rosehip syrup you need a bunch of rosehips (I had a kilo and it made tonnes of syrup) water and sugar.
For every 500g of rose hips you need 1.5 litres of water (divided) and the sugar depends on the final liquid collected (350g for 500ml water)
Boiling water (3 times weight of rosehips)
Sugar (350g for 500ml collected liquid)
Muslin, jam bag or cotton pillow case
Place rose hips in freezer overnight (or at least until frozen solid) and then defrost until squishy.
Place rose hips in blender or food processor to roughly chop them. You can use a knife to chop them but be careful as the hips have fine hairs that can irritate your skin.
Place chopped hips in a saucepan and add first lot of water (double the weight of your hips).
Bring back to boil and then simmer for 20mins or so.
Strain mixture through cotton laid in to a colander and press until most of the liquid is in the bowl. You can also tie it up and hang for hours/overnight and then press afterwards.
Then the second boil; add mixture back into saucepan and add second lot of water (weight of rosehips)
Simmer for 20 mins and repeat the straining.
Measure the final amount of liquid obtained and pour into a clean saucepan.
Measure out sugar as 300g for every 500ml liquid and add to saucepan (You can add more or less sugar depending own taste).
Bring to the boil to dissolve sugar and then bring off the boil after a couple of minutes.
Pour into sterilised bottles or jars (Sterilise jar by pouring boiling water in and leaving to cool enough to pour out water then use immediately) if you have jar with safety buttons (the thing that pops when you first open the jar) that depressed when the jar is cool you can store them in the cupboard but if not it is best to keep them in the fridge and use in a timely manner.
That is it; quite straight forward but please let me know how you go and if you have any questions, I am happy to help.
Have you every tried rose hip syrup – home made or otherwise? Any serving suggestions?