Today, the roses get pruned. Or at the very latest, tomorrow. Certainly by the end of the week. And don’t discard the prunings straight away – Stephanie suggests collecting the rosehips to use in baking or skin care, which is a capital idea.
Years ago when writing a cooking column for Straight Furrow I came across two recipes featuring rosehips, so I might give these a try.
Clip off the rosehips – they should be deep red or orange, with no green. Hips reputedly have more Vitamins A and C than oranges and some folk have been said to eat them, softened by the first frost, raw from the bush.
Personally, I would favour a more cooked approach:
Half cup mashed potato
2 Tbsp sugar
600ml white wine
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp brandy
2 Tbsp honey
Top, tail and chop rosehips, then cook until soft in a little water. Put through a sieve and add wine then cinnamon and sugar, simmer for 30 minutes. Thicken with potato, add brandy and honey. Serve. It ‘s got to be good for you!
Rosehip and honey syrup
5.5 litres water
Honey, 450g for every 850ml liquid
Bring two-thirds of the water to the boil in a large pan. Mince the hips in a blender. Put in to boiling water, bring to the boil then remove from heat for 15 minutes.
Strain liguid through a jelly bag (or muslin.) Put the pulp back into the pan, bring the rest of the water to the boil and pour it over the pulp. Stir and leave for 10 minutes.
Strain the liquid and put it with the first batch. Measure the total amount and return it to the rinsed-out pan with the right amount of honey.
Bring the syrup to the boil and boil for five minutes. Pour into hot, dark bottles and seal. It will keep for up to a year. Drink diluted with hot or cold water.