Rose Hip Syrup
With winter coming on I have heard the requests for pancakes and waffles and I know it will continue. Here comes another confession… I’m not a huge pancake fan either but with plenty of butter and either Dandelion or Rose Hip syrup they aren’t to bad. Now let me tell ya’ I have never met a waffle I didn’t like.
All summer I have been watching a hedge row of wild Rugosa Roses on my way to work. The past few weeks the bushes looked like decorated mini trees. So full of bright red and orange rose hips. The past several nights we have had some good hard frosts and that tells me the time is right to pick. So the other day Daisy and I gathered up a pail, cutters and our leather work gloves and off we went.
A quick 45 minutes later we were on our way back home with our treasures. I’m not sure if everyone makes hip syrup this way or not, but it’s the way I was taught from my Grandmother.
First you need a good size bucket of hips and a nice cup of tea then sit down to remove the blossom end, stems and any that aren’t just perfect. Wash them well under warm running water.
Next is the fun part, chop them. A food processor works for this but I don’t own one. I used my antique Universal Food Grinder. There aren’t lots of electric kitchen gadgets around our kitchen. I like the old elbow-grease kind and you can hand me a wooden spoon any old time and I’m happy.
Put the hips into a large pot and cover them with water plus about an inch. Bring these to a boil, and boil for 15 minutes gently.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool so they are safe to handle without getting burnt. Pour everything into a jelly bag and allow to drain overnight into another container. If you are in a hurry you could also just squeeze out the bag very well to get the juice to extract from the pulp. This is sort of an important step, you don’t want any of the seeds or those pesky rose hip hairs in your syrup. If you use cheese cloth to strain your pulp you might need to strain the juice again. Take my word for it those hairs are not pleasant when you are trying to enjoy the syrup. This dripping juice to me looks a lot like tomato soup and is a nice color. It will clear up once the sugar is added and it cooks down.
The next day reheat this juice until boiling gently and add sugar. Enough so the juice is saturated with the sugar. I had about 6 cups of juice so I used 6 cups of sugar. Allow this to boil gently and stir constantly for 5-10 minutes. It will reduce and thicken a little more.
Pour into sterile jars leaving 1/2″ head space, adjust lids and process in water bath canner for 15 minutes. Remove from canner and allow to cool on a clean towel. Wipe down the jars and label. I added the PDF file for the jar labels HERE if you would like to use them.
I used small jars because this syrup will only last a couple of weeks in the fridge before going bad. There is just enough in these jars for Daisy and I to use up at a single breakfast. I had been on the hunt (locally) for jars a bit prettier and something with a pour spout with no luck. Why is it the (new) Ball jars are so….I don’t know….unattractive and lack personality? They don’t even feel nice when you hold them. The old bail top Ball jars have so much character and so many of the other (non-US brands) are so pleasant to look at. All of my old bail top jars are currently full. Why can’t our’s be that way too…. The Weck jars are still on my wish list. I think this project would have been perfect for the smallest Juice Jars. We could have used what we wanted on our pancakes or waffles and made a nice juice drink with the rest. This syrup is pretty tasty for juice too… Oh’ well there is always next time.
I took the pulp from the jelly bag and fed it to the chickens. They ate everything except the seeds. Guess they didn’t like them. If you don’t have chickens the compost pile would be a good place to toss this stuff.