Rose Hip Jelly Recipe (Hagebutte)
(recipe at bottom of post)
I didn't post a recipe for rose hip jelly earlier because I had tried 5 different versions of recipes (because I had LOTS of rose hips), wrote them down on scraps of paper and then put them away until we had tested out the various end results.
No. 1 was probably the best- very sweet, wonderful flavor, firm consistency.
4 cups strained rose hip juice/1 cup lemon juice/4.5 cups sugar/1 pouch of pectin (Certo brand)
No. 2 was runnier to my recollection- we finished those off actually.
3 cups strained rose hip juice/2 table spoons lemon juice/1 cup sugar/no pectin (testing of jelly without pectin)
No. 3 was pretty good in taste but the consistency was looser.
4 cups strained rose hip juice/.5 cup lemon juice/5 cups sugar/1 packet granulated pectin (crystals- Bernardin Brand)
No. 4 was similar to No. 3. in taste/consistency but I believe I used Certo pectin from last year which you're not supposed to do because evidently pectin looses it's binding power over time) I lost the slip of paper for that one.
No. 5 was so-so despite containing apple puree, cloves and using brown sugar.
In fact, No. 5 was so disappointing that I emptied out the jars, put them back in the pot, added the last of the strained rose hip juice (THAT I FORCE STRAINED THROUGH THE CHEESE CLOTH WHICH ALLOWED THE SEED HAIRS TO PASS THROUGH), and recooked the whole mess.
This was an act of un-thought-out frustration. I didn't want to throw it out and had no idea what to do with it until I spied the (75% alcohol) rum in the refrigerator (which is too disgusting to drink but is great for preserving herbs) and added quite a bit of it to the recooked jelly. I now use the resulting rose hip/rum syrup as a marinade for venison which is DELICIOUS! The fine little seed hairs that are in it more or less disintegrate in the cooking process. I guess that's what they mean by making "Lemonade out of lemons!"
So, to encapsulate the best of the recipes:
You will need to pick plenty of rose hips- I believe I used 4 cups of hips to which I added 4-5 cups of water which I cooked on the stove for between 20 minutes to half and hour. You should break up/crush the hips with a potato masher towards the end of the cooking process to soften them up for the straining process.
With really heavily laden bushes you can pick enough for this recipe in half an hour or so. Another half hour at home to remove the bits on each hip which can be cut or plucked depending on ripeness.
If you have kids, get them to prep the rose hips!
*Rose hips vary in consistency out in the wild. They need a frost or two to bring out the flavor- do not pick them beforehand. Size and colour varies- try to find hips that are large and deep red in colour- the flavor is good from all the hips I picked (in the Thompson-Nicola area of British Columbia) but in the course of foraging I found decidedly better hips in different locations so keep your eyes open for wild roses in summer and the hip development in autumn).
Wild rose grows everywhere around here. This picture was taken at Nicola Lake in Merritt, B.C.
These rose bushes were growing high on a dry, nearly barren hill overlooking Merritt, B.C.
Once they are cooked you should have a very liquid mash.
Remember that force-straining mash will cause the little seed hairs to enter the syrup- fine if you are making a marinade concoction but not for jelly.
Get a pot, fit a sieve over it and drape a few layers of cheese cloth into it and then put the mash inside. Cover the pot and let the juice strain overnight. Don't be tempted to squeeze out the cheese cloth to extract more juice because you will push out those irritating little hairs into the resulting juice. These hairs MIGHT not be a big issue after the cooking process but I found them to be distracting in my last batch of jelly.
4 cups of strained rose hip juice
.5 to 1 whole cup of lemon juice
1 packet of pectin crystals
Boil all that up hard and then add 4.5 to 5 cups of sugar carefully
and boil for 1 more minute or so and remove from heat.
Pour into sterilized jars, put lids on, and treat them as you would other jams (hot water boiling process)
Got left-over hips? Dry them and store in airtight container- you can use them to make rose hip tea! You can dry apples as well, obviously. :)