With so many hedgerows around our home I decided that this year I'd make more of the fruits they have to offer.
Rose hips were in plentiful supply, so I spent a rather soggy afternoon gathering enough to make a good quantity of rose hip syrup.
I used the River Cottage recipe.
I then strained the mixture through two layers of muslin (two layers to be sure to get rid of the little hairs), leaving this to sit for 30 minutes so all the juice drained through.
Next I added 325g sugar, and heated this slowly until all the sugar had dissolved. Once done, I decanted this gorgeous looking liquid into a swing top bottle. It'll keep for four months in the fridge, although I doubt it will last anywhere near that long.
For my first taste I added a glug to plain (soya) yogurt, and topped with apple chunks. Verdict: lovely!
Rose hips contain twenty times more vitamin C than oranges, so they can help ward off a cold in winter, a teaspoon daily is enough or you can mix it with water like a cordial. It makes a tasty refreshing drink - fruity and sweet.
The next morning I enjoyed a breakfast of pancakes, replacing my usual maple syrup with rose hip. It gave a slightly tangy fruity taste, a nice change from the norm. Verdict: Delicious, I wanted seconds! I can see myself happily starting the day this way for a while.
I've found a lovely dairy free vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of rose hip syrup gave it a fruity twist. I added some blackberries that were a tiny bit sour, the syrup sweetened them just enough.
Apparently it's good with rice pudding too (one of my favourites) but I've yet to investigate a dairy free version. I could always make my own, and I can imagine the addition of rosehip syrup would be delicious. My porridge is also going to be rose hipped the next time I make it.
You can use it to sweeten and add flavour to tea but I love my teas exactly as they are (I gave up sweetening my tea when I found ants in the sugar bowl on a Brownie camp when I was about ten years old).
At this rate my bottle won't last nearly long enough, so I might just have to venture out again to gather more for a second batch. And when that's gone I'll look forward to making more next year, it can be my annual autumn sweet treat!
Have you made or tried rose hip syrup - how do you use it?