As summer quickly turns into fall, the wild roses shed their petals in exchange for the beautiful cherry fruits called rose hips. The sight of rose hips blanketing the bushes is as sure a sign as the fireweed turning to fluff that fall is on it’s way. I know many people who like to pick rose hips as a vitamin C laden snack on late fall hikes, or to dry and preserve them for teas.
That was the plan one late summer as I filled gallon Ziploc bags full of the bright red fruits. The particular patch I was picking from is located right along the Russian River and is right in a sunny clearing. This patch had enormous rose hips and as I excitedly picked, the contents of my bag got fuller and more squished. Paired with the slight over-ripeness of the fruit and getting busy with daily life, my bag of potential preserves turned soupy waiting in the refrigerator! A frantic call to my mother, who makes a lot of jams and jellies, revealed she had tried some syrup made out of rosehips long ago and found it to be delicious. Scanning the internet for a recipe that would render a small batch, I set out with my limited kitchen supplies to see what I could do. 30 minutes and few suggestions from my mom later, and I had a beautiful batch of tasty rose hip syrup.
This recipe is sweet and simple.
- 4 cups of rose hips
- 2 cups of water
- 1 cup of sugar
Boil four cups of rose hips (first remove stems) in two cups of water for about 20 minutes. Remove the fruits and strain through cheese cloth (or in a pinch an old cloth napkin – not recommended!) so the juice drips into a saucepan.
*WARNING* Be very careful straining the juice from the fruits. Little hairs covering the rose hip seeds can cause throat and stomach irritation if consumed in large quantities. Some recipes recommend straining twice.
Add sugar and boil for 5 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup has thickened. This recipe makes about 2 cups of syrup.
I love having this syrup over ice cream or pancakes. It is a beautiful color and someday I would love to put it into glass bottles or jars as gifts. This recipe is also special because it was one my mother and I were able to test out together and feel good about using because we know where the ingredients come from. We have plans to pick and create a bigger batch this coming summer so we will have more syrup and memories to share.