Tuesday, September 12, 2006

gather your roseHIPS while ye may... and make jam

I know, it's rosebuds in the poem, and the common wisdom says gather rosehips after the first frost. (It supposedly kills any harboring insects.) But I like to pick them in the beginning of autumn, but before the frost hits, when they are ripened but still firm, like an apple. If you wait for the weather to turn you'll lose alot of them to drying up, mushiness, those little 'worms' will grow and ruin the fruit, and so on.

So I say, pick them NOW, and make jam...

Here's my Rosehip Jam recipe.

Pick some rosehips. I pick about a colander full. So you know right now, this recipe is not precise, but it works. Some say the big apple-y R. rugosa type are the best. They are big and pretty, and look like little apples... see the photo.
But this year I liked the hips from my R. glauca because it is so prolific and the hips are nice and clean of insects. Because I grow without chemicals, the R. rugosa has some little worms in many of the hips this year. Hey, I never promised you a rose garden. But the photo is pretty, isn't it.

Next, wash the hips, cut them all in half, then go through and clean out the seeds and little odd bits. Soak the cleaned hips in water (enough to cover) in the pot you will cook them in, for several hours, which will soften them.
Then when you are ready to make jam, bring the pot to a boil, and boil for 15 minutes, uncovered.
Strain the boiled water/juice into a large measuring cup. In this case I got 1 1/2 cups. Set the fruit aside, and add an equal measure of sugar (in this case, 1 1/2 cups sugar) to the liquid, and stir to dissolve it.
Boil the sugared water/juice until it thickens, stirring constantly.
Add the fruit and cook, stirring, until it is a nice jammy consistency.
Be careful not to burn it.
Your rosehip jam will be beautiful, it looks a bit like cherry jam.

Pour into clean jars and cap. Label, Store in the fridge.
In this case I got three jelly jars, filled. Here's a picture:

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