In the late autumn and into winter wild roses produce a seed pod valuable for their Vitamin C content and ready to be made into a flavorful jelly or jam. In my book, from Fjord to Floathouse, I referred to them:
The outer reaches of the craggy mound I thought of as my personal space were covered with wild roses whose blooms and delicate fragrance in May kept me returning. Before long the same plants yielded tasty nibbles in the form of gigantic rose hips. Mom encouraged me to pick these for her to use to make jelly.
Here is a recipe I’ve used successfully. By the nature of the fruit, amounts and preparation times are approximate. Rose hips have very little pectin; therefore using pectin is strongly advised.
5 – 8 cups rose fresh hips
3 – 4 cups water
½ cup fresh lemon juice
1 pkg. pectin crystals
4 cups sugar
- Rinse the rose hips thoroughly and cut off the stems and scraggly ends. (I use sharp garden clippers.)
- Place rose hips in a large stainless steel pot, add water, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until rose hips are soft and can be mashed. (up to an hour)
- Using a potato masher or electric hand blender crush the pips until entirely broken down.
- Prepare 4 layers of cheesecloth in a colander held with clothespins over a saucepan, or use a jelly bag. Transfer softened mixture and allow to strain into pan. (several hours or overnight)
- When the fruit ‘mess’ is entirely drained measure liquid. If there is less than 3 cups of juice you can add hot water and allow it to drain through the fruit again.
- Discard fruit pulp. Place measured juice into large stainless pan. Add lemon juice and stir in powdered pectin.
- Bring to a boil and when pectin is fully dissolved, add sugar. Stir in thoroughly.
- Allow to maintain a rolling boil (one that cannot be reduced by stirring) timed for one full minute. Then remove from heat.
- Pour into sterilized jars leaving ¼ inch at the top. Seal with sterilized lids and label.