Update of this post (September 2016): My experiment didn’t work! Leaving them whole, as I did, meant they just sat at the bottom of the sugar. However, my friend made them at the same time and was much more diligent than me and cut both ends of each hip. The sugar was able to macerate the hip much more effectively. His became a syrup. I will try to do it again this year with modifications in my method.
Original post: This is an experiment. I’ve made rosehip syrup before (although I couldn’t blog about it) using the boiling method, similar to making a jelly. When I made the apple crab and rosehip jelly, Margaret wisely suggested that boiling rose hips probably defeats the object of the syrup. Rose hips are incredibly rich in vitamin C, so a syrup can be very helpful to have in the house during the winter months to avoid any unpleasant urges.
My wonderful friend A suggested this tactic to make the syrup. She had gone to visit her uncle in Cornwall and he had bought her rosehip syrup for her to taste and had explained that she did it by placing layers of rosehip in sugar. We both wanted to give it a try.
It always makes me smile to think about my friendship with A. We’ve been friends since we were 17 and in college together. Back then, our interests were mainly about having fun and having fun. Now, when we meet, which is as often as we can, we find ourselves mostly strolling around the garden and discussing the finer points of growing vegetables and the best way to cook them. How times have changed.
Anyway let’s go back to rosehip syrup. This is not a recipe as such. Just choose as many rose hips as they fit in your jar. You give them a good wash and remove the head of the old flower. Dry the rose hips thoroughly. Now you pour a layer of sugar into the bottom of your jar, then a layer of rose hips, then sugar, then rosehip until the jar is full. Your rose hips should be completely covered with sugar. As a guide, I used about 400g of rosehip and 450g of sugar to fill my baking jar.
my bottle after a week:
<img src="https://i0.wp.com/theordinarycook.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_3295.jpg" alt="Rosehip and sugar Day 6
This is an experiment. I will report in due course if you have been successful. However, as you can see in the photo above, it looks promising. I didn’t pierce my hips at all and the maceration has begun. I am hopeful that we will have rosehip syrup for our porridge and to sweeten our mint tea in about six weeks. Look at this space.
UPDATE October 13, 2015
Now we have about 16 days in the process of making the syrup. About 9 days in (a week ago) I noticed that as the sugar liquefied, the rose hips were exposed at the top of the jar, so I added more sugar, enough to fill the jar again. The photo below is one I took today. You can see that not all the sugar has liquefied yet, but it’s getting there. Rose hips are also starting to wrinkle. One of my students in bread-making class last week gave me great advice: Keep your damson gin in the car when you need regular shaking. What a great idea. This would work just as well for your rosehip syrup. However, a plastic container might be better suited for that than a glass one.
<img src="https://i0.wp.com/theordinarycook.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/WP_20151013_002.jpg" alt="Rosehip syrup day 16