While visiting Country Sister in Maine, we went to the beach with our families. The children gorged themselves on wild, sour blackberries while us adults pondered the beach rose hips and their ability to be foraged. One night we came up with the idea of this blog. We also decided to make rose jelly together, but due to the busy vacation schedule and lack of potable water, we were unable to. Instead we picked four gallons of rose hips and divided them to be made into jelly. We also discussed the possibility of bringing our jellies together at a later date to be sampled in a blind taste test.
Upon my return to Pennsylvania and the suburban homestead, I began the task of creating jelly. The usable ratio of rose hip to rose hip fruit is quite low. Not knowing this, I began removing the seeds in a quest for fruit for jam (as well as to avoid what some call "itchy bottom disease.") One hour later, I had just begun work on the second gallon bag of hips that Country Sister and I harvested with the hubbies and children in tow.
|Ulu and the Rose Hips|
The fruit was then boiled, mashed, and strained over the course of the day until it was time to jam it up. After putting it into jars, I had a few teaspoons to taste. It was thick and cloyingly sweet, almost like apple flavored honey.
Asks the hubby, "Was it worth it?"
The jury is still out...it is divine, yet it does take quite a little bit of effort to produce.
2 quarts rose hips, ends and seeds removed
1.5 quarts water
.5 cups lemon juice
1 package pectin
.25 teaspoons butter
3.5 cups sugar
Place hips and water in a pot and boil. Reduce to a simmer for about 1 hour. Mash the rose hips in the water. Strain this mixture in a jelly bag for at least an hour. I had to add more boiling water through the bag to make 3 cups of rose juice. Then put the juice in a large pan with the lemon juice and pectin. In the meantime prepare the jelly jars (makes 5-6 half pints) according to the package directions. Boil the juice mixture. When it boils, add the sugar. When the sugar is incorporated, add the butter and stir. Bring this mixture to a hard boil (that cannot be stirred down) for at least one minute (I boiled mine a little longer.) Put into the prepared jars leaving .25 inches head space. Place the lids on and place in the canner covered with one inch of water. Process the jelly for 10 minutes once it begins to boil. Remove from the canner and wait for those little pops!