I was wondering what to do with the abundance of rosehips I get each year on my rambling rose when I came across this wartime recipe from The Ministry of Food. When food was short during the second world war every possible edible resource had to be exploited and the MoF issued these instructions for making rosehip syrup out of about 2 pounds (900gm) of hips.
- Boil 3 pints (1.7 litres) of boiling water.
- Mince the hips in a course mincer (nowadays a food processor will do!) and pour immediately into the boiling water.
- Bring to boil and then place aside for 15 minutes.
- Pour into a flannel or linen crash jelly bag (presumably some fine muslin will do?) and allow to drip until the bulk of the liquid has come through.
- Return the residue to the saucepan, add one and a half pints (852ml) of boiling water, stir and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
- Pour back into the jelly bag and allow to drip through. To make sure all the sharp hairs are removed, put back the first half cupful of liquid and allow to drip through again.
- Put the mixed juice into a clean saucepan and boil down until the juice measures about one and a half pints (852ml), then add one and a quarter pounds (560gm) of sugar and boil for a further 5 minutes.
- Pour into hot sterile bottles and seal at once.
- If corks are used, these should have been boiled for hour just previously and after insertion coated with melted paraffin wax.
- It is advisable to use small bottles as the syrup will not keep for more than a week or two once the bottle is opened.
- Store in a dark cupboard.
Source: The Hedgerow Harvest, Ministry of Food , 1943
What to do with your rosehip syrup
- You can do what my Mum did when I was a kid and give it to your children to keep colds at bay – rosehip syrup is full of Vitamin C
- You can pour it on your pancakes or drip it on your ice cream
- Dilute it and drink it
- Add it to a glass of white wine (like a Kir)
Any other ideas?