We live in an area resplendent with wild roses (Rosa Canina). Every year, when the rose hips command attention with their varying hues of red, pink and orange, I promise myself that I am going to attempt rose hip jelly. Year after year, as late summer turns into autumn, I watch the rose hips wither and die and vow that "next year I'll find the time to make jelly".
This was the year. As I walked with my children, gathering samples for their nature journals, I harvested a hand full of beautiful, plump rose hips. We brought our treasures home, drew pictures and researched our various samples. Reading article after article singing the praises of the humble rose hip spurred me into action. Armed with baskets and rose scissors, the kids and I scoured our country road in search of the tart fruit of the dog roses.
After filling our baskets, we carefully picked through our rose hips, removing the stems and flower remnants. At first I just plucked them off with my fingers, however I eventually resorted to a knife because my thumbs were complaining loudly. I rinsed the hips, making sure to toss any rotten ones and cutting off any bad or wormy spots. After putting them (about 5 cups worth) in a pot, I covered them with 4 cups of water, put a lid on the pot and gently brought the rose hips to a boil, stirring occasionally. I simmered them, stirring from time to time for about 20 minutes, removed from the heat, covered and let them sit in the pot overnight.
|Picked through and ready to boil|
|Having been boiled and allowed to sit overnight|
|Jam making sieve|
|Pushing the pulp through the sieve|
|The pulp and the juice|
|Heating, after adding lemon juice and sugar|
|Rose Hip Jelly|
**I chose not to use pectin, heating the mixture to induce a jell. However, you could use pectin to achieve the same jell.