Hedgerow Harvest: Rosehips

Some more recipes from the hedgerow this time using Rosehips. These have been taken from the Ministry of Food leaflet Hedgerow Harvest published in 1943.

Rose Hip Marmalade

The ruby-red seed of the rose makes an, excellent marmalade. If you soak the cleaned rose hips for 2 hours in plain cold water; then let boil for 2 hours, and strain.

Measure the puree and add l cup of brown sugar to each cup of puree. Let boil down to thick consistency, pour into sterilized glasses,and seal.

Jam

Take hips, first slit in half and pith an and seed thoroughly clean out. The skins were put to stand in an earthenware pot until they were soft enough to rub through a sieve. The resulting puree was mixed with its own weight of sugar, warmed until the sugar melted and then potted.

Syrup

For 2 pounds of hips:

Have ready 3 pints of boiling water, mince the hips in a coarse mincer, drop immediately into boiling water or if possible mince the hips directly into the boiling water and again bring to the boil. Stop heating and 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 of boiling water, stir and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Pour back in to 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, then add llb. 4ozs of of sugar and boil for a further 5 minutes. Pour into hot sterile bottles and seal at once. If corks are used these should have been boiled for 15 minutes 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 one week or two once the bottle is opened. Store in a dark cupboard.

The resulting syrup can be used as a flavouring for milk puddings, ice-cream or almost any sweet, or diluted as a drink.

Hedgerow Harvest. MoF 1943

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In a Jam?

Jam seems to have gone out of fashion. What ever happened to the jam sandwich? During the war children were encouraged to forage for food in the hedgerows to make jams and jellies. Here are three wartime recipes for you to try.

Rose Hip Jam

Ingredients:
5½lb fresh rose hips
Sugar
3½ pints water
Method:
Wash the fresh hips in lukewarm water, top and tail them and boil in a stainless steel or un-chipped enamel pan (not aluminium) for 15 minutes. Rub through a sieve and to each pound of pulp allow ½ lb sugar. Bring up to the boil again and cook for 10 minutes. Put up in stone jars for preference and when cool cover the tops of the jars with castor sugar. Then cover in the usual way. If glass jars are used, keep in the dark. The vitamin content is kept for between three and four months.

Crab Apple Marmalade

Ingredients:
Crab Apples
Sugar
Orange peel

Method:
Wash the crab apples and cut them in quarters, removing any damaged parts, but leaving on the skin and cores. Put into a large enamel pan, cover with cold water and boil gently until reduced to a pulp. Strain pulp through a muslin bag. Meanwhile, thinly slice the peel from three or four sweet oranges. Simmer this gently in enough water barely to cover it, for about ½ hour. Add this to the strained juice from the crab apples. The proportions should be, roughly, two pints crab apple juice to one pint orange peel and water. Bring the crab apple juice and orange peel water to the boil and to three pints of the mixture add 3 lbs sugar, and boil gently until it sets when tested on a plate (about 20 minutes). Put into warmed jars and cover as soon as it is cold. If no orange peel is available the crab apple jelly is delicious by itself.

Hawthorn Jelly

Ingredients:
Berries from the hawthorn tree
Sugar
Water

Method:
Pick enough of the ripe red berries to fill a large pan, about 3-4 lbs. wash thoroughly and remove leaves and twigs, but it does not matter about the little stalks. Allow ½ pint water to each pound of berries, and put on the saucepan lid. Bring to the boil and simmer gently until quite soft, mashing with a wooden spoon to break up all the fruit. Strain through a jelly bag. Measure the juice, and to each pint allow 1 lb sugar. Bring to the boil again, add the sugar and boil until a little sets when tested on a plate about 20-30 minutes. Stirring with a wooden spoon. It is not a very firm jelly.

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Rose Hip Syrup

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!

Collecting Rose Hips
Collecting Rose Hips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Rose Hip
Rose Hip


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.

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