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Rosehip syrup

Bursting with vitamin C - rosehips
Bursting with vitamin C - rosehips

Wartime ‘Hedgerow Harvest’

Rosehips contain 20 times the amount of Vitamin C as oranges, so during the Second World War, when citrus fruit was virtually unobtainable, the Ministry of Food produced encouraged families to go foraging for the fruit.

From 1940-49, it produced The Hedgerow Harvest leaflet, giving housewives recipes based on wild fruits, this one for rosehip syrup.

1940s recipe…

Rosa glauca hips
Rosa glauca hips

Boil 3 pints of water.

Mince 2lb hips in a coarse mincer and put immediately into the boiling water.

Bring to boil and then place aside for 15 minutes.

Pour into a flannel or linen jelly bag and allow to drip until the bulk of the liquid has come through.

Return the residue to the pan, add 1.5 pints of boiling water, stir and allow to stand for 10 minutes.

Pour back into the jelly bag and allow to drip. To make sure all the sharp hairs are removed, put back the first half cupful of liquid and allow to drip through again.

Put the mixed juice into a clean saucepan and boil down until the juice measures about 1.5 pints, then add 1.25 lb of sugar and boil for a further 5 minutes.

Pour into hot sterile bottles and seal at once.

It is advisable to use small bottles as the syrup will not keep for more than a week or two once it is opened. Store in a dark cupboard.

Rosehip syrup: a modern version

Rosehips… bursting with Vitamin C

Here’s a similar modern recipe:

  • 1kg rosehips
  • 3 litres of water
  • 500g dark brown soft sugar

Bring to the boil 2 litres of water.

Chop rosehips in a food processor, then add to boiling water.

Bring water back to the boil, then remove from heat and allow to steep for 20 minutes.

Pour rosehips and liquid into a scalded jelly bag and allow the juice to drip through. Gently squeeze the jelly bag to extract as much liquid as possible.

Add rosehip pulp back to a saucepan containing 1 litre of water and bring back to the boil.

Remove from heat and allow contents to steep for another 20 minutes before straining through the jelly bag again.

Add sugar to the strained rosehip liquid and dissolve, allow to simmer for five minutes, then pour into hot, sterilised bottles.

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