Rose Hips contain Vitamins E, A and D, and antioxidant flavonoids. Lets not forget the vitamin C content. It is very high indeed..in fact it is one of the richest plant sources of vitamin C. During the Second Wold War Rose Hips were collected by school children organised by the local Women’s Institute. The fact that the recipe calls for the boiling of the Rose hip liquid seems to overlook the fact that the Vitamin C content would have been destroyed by the high temperatures. Perhaps that was not well understood at the time. Never mind, it tasted jolly good!
Rosehip Syrup was sold commercially in the UK after the war by a company called Delrosa. English children were paid 3d per lb for rosehips harvested in the autumn to be made into rosehip syrup by the company Delrosa in Wallsend (near Newcastle). For many years after the war, Delrosa brand Rose Hip Syrup was supplied along with Delrosa Orange for babies, through baby clinics throughout the UK. The product appears to have been discontinued here but is still available in America. This website has a stock and will ship to the UK.
The directions given by the Ministry of Food during the war for 2 pounds (900gm) of hips.
Boil 3 pints (1.7 litres) of boiling water.
Mince hips in a course mincer (food processor) and put immediately into the boiling water.
Bring to boil and then place aside for 15 minutes.
Pour into a flannel or linen crash jelly bag and allow to drip until the bulk of the liquid has come through.
Return the residue to the saucepan, add 11/2 pints (852ml) of boiling water, stir and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
Pour back into the jelly bag and allow to drip.
To make sure all the sharp hairs are removed put back the first half cupful of liquid and allow to drip through again.
Put the mixed juice into a clean saucepan and boil down until the juice measures about 11/2 pints (852ml), then add 11/4 (560gm) of sugar and boil for a further 5 minutes.
Pour into hot sterile bottles and seal at once.
Hints: If corks are used these should have been boiled for hour just previously and after insertion coated with melted paraffin wax.
It is advisable to use small bottles as the syrup will not keep for more than a week or two once the bottle is opened.
Store in a dark cupboard.
Source: The Hedgerow Harvest, MoF, 1943.