Autumn brings a whole host of delicious fruit for us to cook and preserve. Among them are blackberries, crab apples, sloes and rosehips.
Well, what are rosehips? They’re the fruit of the rose plant, orangey-red in colour, ready and ripe to pick in early September in the UK. The most common rose hips are from the dog rose plant. They have a very delicate floral flavour, with a distinct, tart after taste, making them the perfect fruit for jams and syrups.
Now the making of rosehip jam can be a long winded exercise, I’m not going to lie. But, I have come up with an easy version, that’s far less time consuming. This recipe uses the whole fruit, then it’s passed through a fine sieve, leaving a lovely fragrant puree. To this the apple is added, along with the other ingredients. The apple is added for texture, I suggest using a firm, crisp variety.
This is the perfect partner to a creamy dessert or an excellent topping for porridge. You can also serve it with cheese.
- 500 g Rosehips
- 2 Dessert apples peeled and de-seeded
- 340 g Jam/preserving sugar
- 1 Lemon juice of and pared zest of half
- Wash the hips well and drain, cut the end and tail off, remove any leaves, otherwise the green tail and leaves might give it a bitter taste. Roughly chop and place in a saucepan and cover with 375ml water. Add the pared zest of half a lemon. Set to a slow boil, partially covered until they become mushy. (You don't want to boil away too much of the liquid).
- Whilst it's boiling, get the jars and lids washed with soapy water, rinse really well and put on a tray with the opening facing up ready to be sterilised. Set the oven to 100C fan.
- Check the hips by picking one and let it cool, squeeze it between your fingers if it breaks and has a mushy texture( not the pips, they will continue to stay hard, then they are ready.
- You can do one of two things; pulse the hips and water in blender to break them up then strain or just mash with a potato masher and then strain. The second option will produce a clearer jam.
- Coarsely grate the apples. Now place the strained liquid back into the saucepan and add the grated apple with the lemon juice. Now add the sugar. Stir on a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and continue to cook for approximately 30 minutes. Place the jam jars in the oven to sterilise.
- Now you need to test for the set. Place a small plate in the freezer to chill. Once its cold place a teaspoon of the jam on the plate. Once cool, push your finger through the jam on the plate – you're looking for it to wrinkle and not flood back in to fill the gap. If it’s not ready continue to boil for a further 10 minutes and test again, and again until its set. Pour into the sterilised jars and store in the fridge once cool.
- If you have the time and inclination, you can halve the hips and de-seed them. Add to the water to cook and soften, but not too mushy. Then add the other ingredients and proceed as per the recipe from stage 5.
- You can use crab apples instead of dessert apples. Use approximately 120g, chop and add in at stage 1. Blitz in a blender instead mashing by hand. Then pass through a sieve.