by Feli Chic'Cuisine
Rose hip syrup is a delightful and versatile creation, perfect for foraging enthusiasts and those looking to capture the essence of the wild in a bottle. This traditional winter tonic is not only rich in Vitamin C but also a key ingredient for crafting delectable cocktails. In this recipe, I'll guide you through the steps to make your very own rose hip syrup, offering a taste of nature's goodness with every sip.
Whether enjoyed as a soothing winter tonic or harnessed as a creative cocktail component, this syrup embodies the inherent benefits of foraged rose hips, abundant in their Vitamin C wealth.
Harvesting Rose Hips
Before embarking on your rose hip syrup adventure, make sure to gather fresh, vibrant rose hips. Harvesting rose hips is a rewarding and enjoyable activity, but it does require some attention to detail and safety. Here are some tips for harvesting rose hips:
Safety First: Wear gloves and long sleeves. Rose bushes often have thorns that can be sharp and prickly. Protect your hands and arms to prevent scratches and irritation.
Choose the Right Time: Wait until the rose hips are fully ripe before harvesting. This is typically in the late summer to early fall, depending on your location and the rose variety. Ripe rose hips are usually a deep red or orange color and slightly soft to the touch.
Inspect the Hips: Examine each rose hip before harvesting. Make sure it's plump and free from mold, rot, or insect damage.
Leave Some for Nature: When harvesting from wild rose bushes, be mindful of the ecosystem. Leave some rose hips behind for birds and other wildlife that rely on them for food.
Trim and Clean: After harvesting, trim off the stems and any remaining flower parts, and wash the rose hips thoroughly to remove dirt and bugs.
Be Mindful of Poisonous Lookalikes: While rose hips are generally safe to forage, be cautious and ensure you're picking from actual rose bushes. Some berries and fruits from other plants can resemble rose hips but may not be safe to consume.
Respect Property Rights: If you're foraging on private property or in a park, make sure you have permission or that it's allowed according to local regulations.
Bring a Container: Have a suitable container with you to collect the harvested rose hips. A basket or a cloth bag works well as it allows air circulation and prevents mold.
Avoid Low-Hanging Fruit: Rose hips closer to the ground are more likely to be contaminated or damaged. Opt for those at waist height or higher.
Preserve Quickly: Rose hips can spoil relatively quickly after being harvested. If you can't process them immediately, consider freezing them to preserve their freshness until you're ready to use them.
Step-by-Step Guide To Make Rose Hip Syrup
Below is a step-by-step guide to prepare your own rose hip syrup. While it's not a complex process, it does involve several stages, and as you can see from the pictures.
I trust that you'll take pleasure in both the preparation and the consumption of this delightful rose hip cordial. Throughout the winter, there's an immense joy in sipping a warm mug of it on those crisp, chilly days.
Ensure that your bottles, their lids, and the funnel you plan to use are thoroughly sterilized before your syrup is prepared and ready.
Prep the Rose Hips:
Clean the rose hips thoroughly, removing stems and any remnants of the flower. It's a good idea to wear gloves for this part.
If you're not ready to make the syrup immediately after harvesting the rose hips, freezing them is an excellent way to preserve them until you're ready to use them. Frozen rose hips can be stored for an extended period without losing their flavor and nutritional value.
Also, freezing rose hips before preparing the syrup makes the process easier, improves flavor extraction, extends preservation, and can contribute to a more appealing taste in the final product.
Therefore, to ensure you retain the highest nutritional value, start by bringing a large saucepan of water to a boil.
To preserve the Vitamin C content in rose hips, they were subjected to a process known as leaching, involving immediate exposure to boiling water after grinding. This step is essential to neutralize an enzyme that rapidly deactivates Vitamin C.
I placed my frozen rose hips into the food processor and pulsed them until they were coarsely chopped.
Immediately, I added the prepared rose hips to the saucepan with boiling water. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer for about 30 minutes. This step softens the rose hips and extracts their flavor.
Using a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth - I used both of them - strain the liquid to separate the rose hip solids from the liquid.
To extract the juice efficiently, gather the corners of your muslin, cradle the berry bundle, and gently apply pressure to squeeze out as much juice as you can.
In order to be certain I caught all of those delicate hairs, I sieved it through muslin for a second round of straining.
Add sugar and heat over medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Note: Your decision between sugar and honey depends on your personal taste preferences and dietary considerations. Both sweeteners can be employed effectively.
Carefully pour the rose hip syrup into sterilized bottles or jars. Seal them while the syrup is still hot to ensure proper preservation.
PREPARATON TIME: 30 min
COOK TIME : 35 min
1000 g rosehips
750-800 g sugar. (honey)
2 litre water
Sterilize the bottles, the lids, and the funnel you are going to use before your syrup is prepared and ready.
Prepare the Rose Hips
1. Clean the rose hips thoroughly, removing stems and any remnants of the flower. It's a good idea to wear gloves for this part.
2. To ensure you retain the highest nutritional value, pour the water in a large saucepan and bring it to a boil.
3. Place the rose hips into the food processor and pulsed them until they are coarsely chopped.
Prepare the Syrup
4. Immediately, add the chopped rose hips to the saucepan with boiling water. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer for about 30 minutes. This step softens the rose hips and extracts their flavor.
5. Using a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth - I used both of them - strain the liquid to separate the rose hip solids from the liquid. Gather the corners of the muslin, cradle the berry bundle, and gently apply pressure to squeeze out as much juice as you can.
6. In order to be certain you caught all of those delicate hairs, sieve it through muslin for a second round of straining.
7. Add sugar (honey) and heat over medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
8. Carefully pour the rose hip syrup into sterilized bottles. Seal them while the syrup is still hot to ensure proper preservation.
“The measure of achievement is not winning awards. It's doing something that you appreciate, something you believe is worthwhile."― Julia Child