If you’ve been reading along for a while, you’ll know that I love foraging for food. From wild garlic for pesto in the spring to summer elderflowers for syrup, I get a real kick out of connecting with nature and exploring all the flavours the seasons have to offer.
In autumn, when I’m not hunting mushrooms in the woods, you’ll find me in the hedgerows picking rosehips and wild apples to make the deliciously tangy Rosehip and Apple Jelly.
About Rosehip jelly
This is such a beautiful jelly, a bright autumnal golden-orange. The apples give it a lovely soft set and the rosehips flavour the jelly with their zesty, tangy flavour.
It’s perfect for spooning over whipped cream smothered scones or served with a sharp cheddar on a cheeseboard. It also makes a fabulous and unique gift.
Rosehips, those bright red jewels of the roadside, are everywhere at this time of year, and all species of rosehip can be made into jelly. When harvesting, wear gloves to protect from thorns and cut the rosehips from the bushes with a small pair of scissors.
It’s traditional to pick the rosehips after the first frost, as once frozen they give out more juice. I find it is easier to keep them in the freezer for a night or two to imitate a frost instead.
Which apples are best for jelly making?
Around these parts, we are lucky enough to have plenty of apples growing wild, as well as a few old fashioned apple trees in the orchard. If, however, you can’t get your hands on crab apples, be sure to use a tart variety such as granny smith to get the maximum amount of jelly-setting pectin from the fruit.
More jelly making tips
To ensure you get a beautifully clear jelly it is important to stick to the rules and leave the fruit pulp to drain undisturbed. As tempting as it is, squeezing the fruit will make the jelly cloudy so leave the bag in peace.
A last and very important tip: don’t touch the fine hairs inside the rosehips! They are a skin irritant and were once used to make itching powder! The jelly bag or muslin will strain them out of the finished jelly.
Have you tried cooking with rosehips before? Let me know in the comments below! xJ
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I know if the Jelly will set?
Jams and jellies reach setting point at around 105°C/220°F. If you do not have a thermometer you can use the traditional method to test the set of the jelly. Before you start to cook, place 3 small saucers into the freezer.
When the jelly mixture has been boiling for 10-12 minutes, place 1 tsp onto one of the chilled plates. Wait for 30 seconds and then push it with your finger. If it wrinkles the jelly will set. If not continue to boil the jelly, checking every three minutes.
It’s important to remember that jelly will be quite liquid until it has completely cooled, up to 48 hours!
How long does Rosehip and Apple Jelly keep?
At least a year in sterilised jars, kept in a cool, dark place.
How can I sterilise jars for jelly making?
Wash the jars in hot soapy water, rinse well, then place in a baking dish in the oven at 120°C / 250°F for 10 minutes. Pour boiling water over the lids.
Rosehip and Apple Jelly Recipe
- 1kg (2 lb.) green apples
- 500g (1 lb.) rosehips, topped and tailed
- approx. 400g (1 + ¾ cups) white sugar
- Roughly chop the apples and place in a large, heavy-based saucepan with enough water to cover. No need to peel them, use the skins, cores and all. Pulse the rosehips in a food processor until broken down, then stir through the apples in the pan.
- Heat the mixture until boiling, then turn the heat down and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the apples are pulpy. Line a colander with muslin or cheesecloth or prepare a jelly bag. Pour the fruit pulp and any liquid into the prepared strainer and let the liquid drip into a bowl for several hours. It’s often best to do this overnight so you can resist the urge to squeeze the bag or cloth - squeezing the bag or cloth will lead to cloudy jelly.
- When the fruit pulp has drained, measure the liquid. For every 600ml liquid weigh out 400g of sugar and add both to a large, heavy-based saucepan. Heat gently, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then turn the heat up and boil until the mixture reaches 105°C / 220°F on a sugar thermometer (see notes for alternative method).
- Pour the hot jelly mixture into hot, sterilised jars and seal.
Jams and jellies reach setting point at around 105°C/220°F. If you do not have a thermometer you can use the traditional method to test the set of the jelly.
Before you start to cook, place 3 small saucers into the freezer. When the jelly mixture has been boiling for 10-12 minutes, place 1 tsp onto one of the chilled plates. Wait for 30 seconds and then push it with your finger. If it wrinkles the jelly will set. If not continue to boil the jelly, checking every three minutes.
If you find yourself with 500ml of juice, top it up with water or apple juice rather than reducing the sugar.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 40 Serving Size: 1 tsp
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 52Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 0g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.