Friday, April 8, 2011

Rose hip jam.

I mentioned in a previous post that I really wanted to make rose hip jam and had started collecting the rosehips.  The rosehips outside my lounge window have been enticing me for a few days so I put the baby in the high chair with some toast, pulled her right up to the window (separation anxiety) and clipped away.  I cut about two cups worth before I got bored/ realised that effort involving the step ladder would be required.  Later I pulled out the little stems and any leaves and put them in a pot with some water to boil.

Rose hip syrup is a traditional baby tonic - rosehips are full of vitamins and iron so teaspoon fulls were often given to children as a pick me up.  I don't know if the jam has any particular health benefit, or could given the amount of sugar in it, but I think that if I can be bothered picking more rosehips then I'll try this next.

Many of the recipes that I looked up recommended cutting the hips in half and removing the seeds.  This seemed ridiculous, and way too full off effort for me.  I found a local NZ food writer who pointed out the futility of this step (rose hips are small, cutting them in half is hard but then removing the 'seeds,' honestly).

I refilled the pot while simmering a few times then left to infuse overnight.  All the recipes that I read recommended really squishing the pulp to get out all the juice.  This is at odds with most jam recipes, but I decided to go for it.  I lined a sieve with a couple of muslins and left to drain for a couple of hours.  Occasionally I would mix round the pulp and really push it through.  Finally I had about two cups of liquid (I knew I should have picked more rosehips).  I boiled up with an equal amount of jam sugar, a squeeze of lemon and about a TBSP of pectin (this particular bag of 'jam sugar' has not worked well for me).  It probably took about ten minutes of hard boiling to reach the appropriate stage.  Voila, one jar of rust orange jam, the colour of autumn.

The smell and taste are awesome.  I recommended crumpets.

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