Roses in December
If you grow roses and are not conscientious about deadheading them, you know that you will have plenty of rosehips right now. I cut them from the plant and hang them upside down to dry before using them in all sorts of ways– in scented mixtures and spice blends, tea blends and as a flavor ingredient in icing, cakes and jelly.
Do you have rosehips? How do you use them?
If you don't have access to your own organic rosehips, you can still make rosehip jelly. Look for dried and cut organic rosehips at whole foods or health food markets or in commercial tea blends. For the fragrant jelly left, I combined dried hibiscus flowers with dried cut rosehips in equal amounts. If your rosehips haven't completely dried out yet and you want to use the following recipe, double the amount so that you would be using 1 cup chopped fresh rosehips.
Makes 6 cups
3 or 6 rose stems with rosehips attached, optional
4 cups water
1/2 cup chopped dried rosehips or combination petals and rosehips
6 cups granulated sugar
1 pouch liquid pectin
1. Wash and immerse 6 1-cup or 3 two-cup canning jars in a large pot of water. Bring to a boil and let simmer until ready to fill. If you are planning to float a stem with whole rosehips still attached, cut the stems to the height of the jar. Using a razor, remove the thorns from the rose stems and set aside.
2. In a deep-sided saucepan or canning kettle, bring the water to a boil. Add rosehips, cover the pan and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
3. Over a large bowl, strain off and discard the rosehips. Return the rosehip infusion to the saucepan and add the sugar. Over low heat and stirring constantly, bring the liquid and sugar to a hard boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil hard for 1 minute. Stir in the pectin and stir the liquid for a minute.
4. Remove from the heat and skim off any foam. Ladle jelly into hot jars, one at a time. Add a rosehip stem to the jelly. Add more jelly until 1/4-inch from the top of the jar. Wipe the rim clean and cap with the flat part of the canning lid. Screw on the band and return the filled jar to the canner. Fill remaining jars.
5. Top up the water in the canner if necessary to bring the water at least 1-inch above the tops of the jars. Cover and bring to a rolling boil and boil constantly for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and let the jars sit in the water for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.