Rosehip syrup is very easy to make and is delicious. As rosehip syrup contains 20 times more vitamin C than oranges it is very healthy stuff. When the supply of oranges went down during the Second World War, many schoolchildren went rosehip picking and the rosehips were then turned into rosehip syrup. With renewed interest in wild foods, people are making rosehip syrup again. Here is my simple recipe how to make your own delicious rosehip syrup.
Rosehips produce their wonderful berries much later than many other plants. I picked these on the last day of October. Don’t pick all of them on the bush as many birds rely on them for food during the winter. Some people say you should wait until the first frost. I find picking them and putting them in the freezer just as effective – and the hips are less likely to be in poor condition.
Wash about a kilo of berries and break off the stalks. This is your last chance to pick out any rosehips that have gone mouldy. Also remove any creepy crawlies that you might not want ending up in your roseship syrup.
Use a powerful blender such as this one to macerate the rosehips. The blender should cut the rosehips into small pieces, but not end up as a mush. Add water to the rosehips to make it easier work for your blender.
You should put the chopped rosehips into a pan of boiling water as quickly as possible as the vitamin C begins to break down as soon as the rosehips are damaged. The quantities are not too important but the consistency should be soup-like with more rosehip than water.
Once the chopped rosehips are boiling, turn off the gas and allow to stand for 15 minutes. Then pour the mixture through a jelly bag – or, if you don’t have one, you can use a pair of (clean) tights, or, as I did, use a clean tea towel. Put the chopped rosehips back in the pan, add another litre of water and repeat the straining process. You could probably do this three times and still get goodness out of the rosehips.
The syrup that comes out looks remarkably like tomato soup. Add 650g of sugar for each litre of rosehip syrup that you have – and bring to the boil again to dissolve the sugar. No need to boil away for hours. Once the syrup is boiling, you can start bottling it.
You could also cheat and just buy some from Amazon (commission link). Though you might come back when you see the price…