It’s an autumnal classic, traditional Scottish rosehip jelly. All country loving folks make this gorgeous sweet yet tart jelly every year. I’m no exception. It’s one of those preserves that you just have to make yourself. So let’s go make some.
Traditional Scottish Rosehip Jelly
To make rosehip jelly one first requires rosehips. This means a bit of foraging. These are tricky little buggers that look deceptively cute with their jolly red colouring adding touches of glory to an otherwise dull autumnal day. They tempt you on the hedgerows and you feel you just have to make something yummy out of them.
And come on, how difficult can they be?
It is at this point that the human mechanism for forgetfulness falls into place. That same mechanism that makes women forget (!) or at least subdue the memory of pain/agony/torture of childbirth and have another offspring. You have forgotten the scratches etc of former years. Hey ho, off you go again.
You head into the bushes reaching here and there to catch the tantalising little beauties. With each reach and gather you seem to become entangled in the thorns. Pulling back is a huge mistake because now you are impaled. You end up with criss crosses all over as if having had a bit of a turn on the self-harming front.
Homewards with the bounty.
Admire those gorgeous red beauties, you have struggled and striven to get the little sods! Onwards to the kitchen…..
Keep it simple
Do not be tempted to remove the seeds or anything remotely crafty like that. Settle instead for chopping off the tufty hard ends. This will be a boring in the extreme and take FAR longer than anticipated. You may well lose the will to live…..
Having done all that throw the damn things in the food processor and pulse them on and off to break them up and open the little monsters. Smirk with glee as you look at them whirring away and imagine their screams of agony that can hardly compare to your own in the bushes earlier.
By the way, try to avoid touching the furry bits inside these joyous little goodies, they cause you to itch like crazy. Did you know that rosehips were once the original components for itching powder!
You are now ready to make rosehip jelly……
There really aren’t may ingredients in this jelly. There are rosehips and sugar and apples. How easy is that! If you haven’t made any sort of jelly before then check out my Making Great Jelly page.
Like all good jelly making this is an overnight job. You want to get the most of the juice from those rosehips and apples once you’ve boiled them together. Now the most important thing in making any jelly is NOT to squeeze the bag to get more juice out of it. Oh I know it’s tempting. You’ve let it drip overnight and see there is a mass of fruity pulp in the bag and not a huge amount of juice in the bowl. Resist the temptation to squeeze that bag at all costs.
If you do squeeze out the last of the juice your rosehip jelly will end up cloudy and not that gorgeous jewel like clear jelly you were look in for.
Foraging for fruits and berries is great fun. And when the results are as good as this amazing rosehip jelly then it is well worth the odd scratch and maybe falling in a ditch or two along the way.
How long will this jelly keep?
This will keep for up to a year but once opened store in the fridge and use within a month.
How to use rosehip jelly
Serve this yummy jelly on toast in the morning or with a cheeseboard in the evening. It is a tart, sweet jelly that goes really well with cold meats too. So bring it out with a ploughman’s at lunch time too.
Use this as a glaze when you are baking gammon. Add it to your toasted sandwiches too.
Now that you’ve got your rosehips you might want to make something else with them.
Remember foraged fruits like rosehips can’t be bought in the shops. So this rosehip jelly makes a great wee foodie gift for friends and family.
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- 1 kilo/2 1/4lb apples any sort really
- 450 g/1lb rosehips
- Preserving sugar
- Trim the turfts off all the rosehips and then pulse in food processor.Chop the apples in quarters, don't bother to core or peel them, and toss into a large pan. Cover with water and add an extra 300ml/1/2 pint of water on top.
- Bring to boil and cook until they are tender. Now throw in the rosehips breathing a sigh of relief that you won't have to touch the damn things again. Simmer for a further 10 minutes and let it cool a little.
- Set up a jelly bag/cheesecloth in sieve or whatever you have to strain the mix and then pour it in there and let it drip into a bowl overnight.
- Next day resist temptation to squeeze the bag because if you do it will make the jelly cloudy and you've worked way too hard to end up with cloudy jelly.
- Measure the liquid and for every 600ml/1 pint use 400g/14oz of warmed sugar.
- Put all this back into your pan and slowly bring to the boil to dissolve the sugar. Now boil until you reach setting point of 105c/220f or test with the old chilled saucer technique.
- Let it cool a little before pouring into sterilised jars. Seal and sit back admiring your work.