From pink wild roses – to red rose hips – to red syrup
Collect rose hips and remove any stems. They could be chopped but I did not: the hips soon disintegrate on heating.
- Put two litres of water in a large pan and bring to the boil. Throw in the chopped rose hips, bring back to the boil, then remove from the heat, cover and leave to infuse for half an hour, stirring from time to time. (Note I didn’t chop them, but mashed after a while.)
- Strain the mixture through a jelly bag. Alternatively, line a colander with a couple of layers of muslin and place over a large bowl. Tip in the rose hip mixture, and leave suspended over the bowl.
- Muslin bag needs squeezing and twisting to force out syrup.
Pulp from straining will be boiled up again with water and the process repeated.
- Set the strained juice aside and transfer the rose hip pulp back to the saucepan, along with another litre of boiling water. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat, infuse for another half an hour and strain as before.
- Discard the pulp and combine the two lots of strained juice in a clean pan. Bring to the boil, and boil until the volume has decreased by half. Remove from the heat.
- Add sugar (325gms per 500ml syrup) and stir until dissolved. Return to the stove, bring to the boil and boil hard for five minutes. Pour into warmed, sterilised jars or bottles and seal.
Recipe bullet points taken from River Cottage in Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2006/oct/21/recipes.dessert
Rose hip syrup keeps well in the fridge and the last bottle from last year’s crop is still tasting good. Average quantity made is 2-3 jam jars. Kilner bottle jars have also been used successfully.
Mine tasted a little like medicine so I probably didn’t use enough sugar. I also added some echinacea drops to help ward off colds.