Now is the perfect time of year for picking wild rosehips! Hedgerows abound with the bright red bullets of lovliness so there is no reason why you shouldn’t get picking! Pick perfect berries and try and spread your picking out across a number of bushes so you are not stripping one single plant bear of their berries. This also leave plenty behind to act as nature’s larder for the wild birds and hedgerow animals too who, lets face it, have more of a need for these fruits than we do.
This is the first year of making rosehip syrup, and when I am unsure about how to treat my foraged treaures, I refer directly to the masters! For this rosehip syrup I referenced the ever resourceful “Forgotten Skills of Cooking” by Darina Allen (buy it here). I did try making the syrup from a mash but I wasn’t impressed with the outcome, so I decided to use Darina’s time honoured version instead and was much more impressed and satisfied with the end product. Here is the recipe I followed. This made for me apx 3/4 of a litre of syrup which I decanted into 3 x 275ml Kilner jars with sealed stoppers.
The end result is something that tastes akin to honey with a very delicate rose fragrance. The syrup can be taken neat in 5ml spoonfulls during the autumn and winter as an instant hit of vitamin C. Or it can be used diluted to taste, hot or cold, added to deserts such as the syrup to sink into sponge puddings, or mixed in to a cake or set cream mix or just lashed over ice cream as a single desert. The syrup is very suggary (obviously) so beware to stay clear if you are in any way diabetic or have a sugar intolerance. The Wile Irish Foragers and Preservers have some great ideas of how to take your rosehip syrup including as a hot toddy or in a cocktail! Great alternative to mulled wine or cider typical of this time of year! https://www.facebook.com/thewildirishforagersandpreservers
These will keep in the fridge unopened for serveral months, but once opened it should be consumed within a couple of weeks.
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