The hedgerows are brimming with fruit and I cannot resist. The hedge in The Ley has an abundance of blackberries, sloes, hawthorns, rosehips and wild apples that have been turned into Hedgerow Jam and Cordial.
There were so many rosehips that I decided to make some rosehip syrup but remembering that the last batch I made sat on the shelf for months and months, I thumbed through my recipe books and plumped for making rosehip marmalade instead.
It seemed simple enough – put 1kg of rosehips in the pan with 500ml of water and simmer until the hips are tender. I simmered gently but the water disappeared and the hips were far from tender.
So a change of tack and maybe rosehip and crab apple jelly would be better. In went the crab apples and more water, all simmered away nicely and I strained it through a jelly bag overnight. Rather disappointingly there was an almost full jelly bag of pulp and only about 500 ml of juice in the jug. Ever the optimist I’d left a 2 litre jug to catch the juice.
The pulp went back into the pan with more water, simmered gently and then I pushed it all through a sieve to give a thick liquid that I boiled up with an equal quantity of sugar. It’s in jars now and is a beautiful autumnal orange colour and has a soft wobbly set.
I’m not sure what it is. Not a jelly, not a jam. According to Pamela Westland’s Food For Keeps, “Fruit honeys are made from sieved fruit puree or flavoured syrup, boiled and set to the consistency of thick or clear honey …”. So I think I’ve made Rosehip Honey.
Whatever it is, it tastes good.