Rosehip Syrup

Friday, February 04, 2011

food painting for the vegetarian cookbook by Fiona Morgan
Unusual. Delicate. Versatile. Thrifty.


Food painting artwork

30 x 30cm oil and graphite on linen. A modern botannical style representation of the rosehips essential to this recipe. Part oil painting and part drawing. Full of life. A mixed media experiment that worked rather well, don't you think?

By the way, all the food painting artwork is available to own in the Official Art Store. A very limited edition reproduction print is available right now. If you want to get your hands on the original, then either keep a close eye on the store yourself, or sign up to my newsletter for collectors to conveniently have a note drop into your inbox when it's available to own. It's the yellow box, top left.


The meatless meals recipe

Rosehips are very high in vitamin C and, unusual for a fruit, are in season in winter. In times past they were highly prized for these two reasons. What are rosehips? Why, they are the little red oval berries on rose bushes in winter. They stay hard for ages, but when they soften the birds will be all over them and this is when they are easiest to pick. Due to the birds their season is rather short. 

There are a few things to know before you charge out picking and eating. Firstly they can be challenging to pick. Roses are covered in thorns and rosehips are filled with spikey filaments which often protrude through the skin of the berry and feel sharp. Also the berries are small and light and it takes patience to collect enough to cook with. If you don't like the taste of rose (think turkish delight), don't bother. Secondly, those spikey filaments irritate the lining of our stomachs so don't ever just eat whole rosehips. These filaments must be removed first. In this recipe, that's what the muslin does.

4 cups rosehips
4 cups water
832g sugar (or for each 600ml juice, add 500g sugar)

Put the rosehips and water in a pan.
Bring to the boil and mash roughly.
Simmer very gently for 20 minutes with the lid on. Be vigilant that the mix does not catch on the pan bottom as this destroys the delicate flavour.
Mash well and strain through doubled muslin. I find laying the muslin over a sieve and wearing rubber gloves to squeeze to be really useful at this stage.
Squeeze all the liquid out of the fruit.
Discard the fruit.
Measure the juice and calculate the correct sugar amount.
Put both sugar and juice in a pan and heat to dissolve the sugar. Do not heat for too long as the sugar will caramelise. Trust me! Though rose flavoured caramel is quite nice, it's not what we're after here.
Decant into sterilized jars. 

This makes just under 4 cups or 1 Litre of syrup.

Enjoy! Now you have a lovely flavouring for cakes, icing, sweet sauces and other sweet treats. This can also be drunk as a cordial. My personal tip is to use this syrup as the sauce for a jamless Upsidedown Pudding


More vegetarian cookbook goodies

Need help with conversions? Download this handy dandy pdf of cooking conversion charts for every cooking measuring system I could find. It should make your life easier.

Want to check out more vegetarian dinner recipes? They're all in the Table of Contents.

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