Thursday, March 5, 2015

Rosehip Jelly

This is the time of year where I seriously start yearning for Spring.  This year it's even worse because the weather is so darned...well Springlike!

One of the things I tend to do this time of year is I start to weed out things that we longer need and/or start figuring out things that need to be used before the new growing season starts.

Rosehips ended up being one of those things this year.  We have rosebushes in our yard growing in a lot of different locations and year before last I went kinda nuts harvesting rosehips in the fall and dehydrating them to use in different applications later.

Well, after cleaning them even I still had a ton.  I used some and made Strawberry Rosehip Jam that year, made some facial products, attempted to make perfume (that didn't work well), etc.  And at the end of the fall season I shoved the nice airtight container in with the rest of my herbs and conveniently forgot about it.  Until the day before yesterday.

See, I was cleaning out my herb collection (yes, I have one of those) and ran into the rosehips.  Checking the date, I realized I really needed to use them up before they started losing potency.  But, I don't really do much herb experimentation anymore, so I tried to think of something other than skin care products to make with them.

Watching "The 1940's House" I had an epiphany when I was watching and they mentioned children getting rosehip syrup as a vitamin C supplement.

I thought of making rosehip syrup out of the rosehips, but I was kind of worried about canning it as I wasn't sure how long it would stay good for and I was sure it would spoil pretty quickly after it was opened because of lack of preservatives in it.  So, I tried to think of something else.

And then it came to me.  I had made Strawberry Rosehip Jam a couple of years ago with tea rose rosehips (which was yummy), so I figured I could use the dried rosehips to make jelly.

And hey, I was right.  And it turned out really well!  I was thrilled as I have been blowing through jam and such around here just with toast and desserts, so I was happy to come out of this with essentially free (since I had all the materials around the house) jelly to use through the rest of the winter and spring.

Anyway, you can save this recipe and use it on your dried rosehips later in the year.  It tastes a lot like apple jelly, actually (part of that comes from the apple juice used to boost up  the flavor and the pectin content a little bit).

I used a traditional/standard jelly recipe for this, but doubled the pectin in the recipe as rosehips don't have any natural pectin of their own that I know of, even though they are (from the research I've done)  related to apples.   And hey, rosehips are naturally high in vitamin C, so double bonus to the jelly!

Note:  This recipe is not evaluated nor approved by the FDA.  I don't have a problem canning it, but that is me.  If you do not want to can this, just use freezer pectin and store your jelly in the freezer (follow the directions on the pectin package).  It will work fine.

 Rosehip Jelly:  Makes approx 10, 8 oz. jelly jars

  • 6 Cups Rosehip Juice (recipe follows)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 boxes (or 6 TBS) regular pectin
  • 7 cups sugar

1.  Make Rosehip Juice
Rosehip Juice
  • 1 1/2 Cups Dried, and seeded, Rosehips (you can use more if you want a stronger taste, but 1 1/2 cups is all I had)
  • 6 Cups water
  • Unsweetened apple juice
2.  Place rosehips and water in a large saucepan.  Heat to boiling, reduce to simmer and simmer 15 minutes.  Turn off heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

3.  Place a wire mesh strainer over a bowl or large measuring cup (I used my 8 cup Pyrex measuring cup for this).  Pour rosehip mixture over the bowl.  You can do one of two things now.  Take unsweetened apple juice and add to the rosehip mixture until you have 6 cups total of liquid or you can take the now strained rosehips, cover with water again and repeat the boiling/simmering process to get more rosehip juice.  I ended up adding about 2 cups of apple juice to get six cups of liquid.

4.  Prepare canner, jars and lids (use recommended jelly making guidelines for sanitation).

5.  Whisk together rosehip juice mixture, lemon juice and pectin in a large stock pot until smooth and there are no lumps.  Heat the mixture to boiling.

6.  While the mixture is heating, measure out the sugar, place in a bowl and set aside.  Also, pull out the largest whisk you have (this is a great time to pull out a balloon whisk if you have one).

7.  Once mixture is at a boil, add the sugar all at once.  You are going to have a huge sugar cube in the middle of your pectin mixture and this is where a whisk comes in super handy.  Use the whisk to break up all the sugar and whisk it into the liquid, so that no lumps are left.

8.  Switch to a wooden spoon and heat the mixture back to a rolling boil (a boil that can not be stirred down).  Keep boiling for 1 minute (or however long your pectin directions tell you to).

9.  Place jelly in hot, sterilized jars (skim off foam if there is any...I didn't have enough to worry about), place lids and rings on the jars and process in a hot water bath canner for 10 minutes.  Turn the heat off under the canner and remove the lid, but leave the jars in for another 5 minutes.  Remove jars with a jar remover to a tea towel or other protected surface to cool.  Check seal after jars are cooled.

Any jars that are not sealed should be used immediately.  Should keep for a year in the pantry if properly sealed and stored.

Once opened store in fridge.

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