The rose garden is a powerhouse of beautiful flowers from spring to autumn with dazzling color to treat the eyes and heavenly fragrance to tantalize the nose. All through the summer months the flowers are removed as they fade to keep more coming but once fall arrives, the flowers are left to form fruits, called hips. Most are small and not of culinary interest but some, like those of many rugosa roses are large and can be used to make rose hip jam. The hips are a great source of vitamin C and can be made into tea, soup, and jellies in addition to jam. The jam is not difficult to make but does require a lot of rose hips so if you like rose hip jam either grow rugosas (they require no spraying!) or find someone who does. Yes, other rose hips can be used but those of the rugosa are considered the tastiest.The hips should be harvested when ripe, that is when they turn a rich rosy red. Frost is believed to enhance the flavor.
1 quart rose hips
3 cups water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 cups sugar
½ bottle liquid pectin
N.B. Use ceramic or stainless steel cookware.
1. Wash the hips well and cut off both ends. Slit lengthwise and remove the seed and its surrounding structure.
2. Boil the hips about 15 minutes.
3. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for an hour.
4. Puree by stirring through a sieve.
5. To 1 ¾ cups of puree, add the sugar and lemon juice.
6. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a rolling boil and add ½ bottle pectin.
7. Boil 1 full minute.
8. Remove from heat, skim, and pour into jelly glasses.
The unusual nature of the jam makes it a unique and welcome gift especially to other gardeners.