9.14.2008

Rosehip jelly

My mother made rosehip jelly once, beneath the dim lighting of her college dorm hall at Smith. It was the 70s, and the rooms had no kitchens. So she boiled the fruit she'd collected from the campus gardens over a one-burner electric element, tucked away in the phone booth shared by all the girls on the hall.

The jam was terrible, she says, with the consistency of glue paste and a flavor not much better. Still, every time I see the rose plants fruiting, I wonder if perhaps I shouldn't give it a try. When I visited Nantucket last week, I saw jar upon jar of it for sale at local shops. It was an island specialty they told me, as revered as the Cape Cod beach plum is here.

There are plenty of recipes online. But as this seems to be a rather finicky preserve, I thought I'd put a call out to readers. Does anyone have an old rosehip jelly recipe, tried and approved? Can't wait to see what the comment box brings.

22 comments :

Andrea said...

Sorry, I don't have a recipe, but was wondering the same thing. I'll plan on checking back and hopefully will see something worth trying.

Anonymous said...

I make rose hip jelly every year. This recipe originally came from a Cuttyhunk cookbook which I no longer have.
Collect good looking rose hips in early fall. Check them for small worms inside. Cut both ends off and cut each rose hip in half, then put them in a large pot. Add water so you can just see it through the rose hips. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. With any suitable utensil, mash the rose hips a little and let them sit in the liquid overnight. Strain through cheesecloth as you would any other liquid for jelly. Where I get rose hips there are often a wild cranberries growing so I add a few of them for color.
I use Sure Jell and followthe jelly recipe using 5 cups of rose hip liquid, 9 cups of sugar, and a little lemon juice. Nelia Dunbar, Brunswick, ME

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