14 September 2014

Rose Hip and Caramelised Orange Jam.

8oz sliced oranges, without skin
5oz rose hips
13oz sugar

The wild roses have wilted and left behind their brightly coloured seed pods named 'rose hips.' One of the many beautiful colours of autumn, they vary from yellow to orange to red. The sizes changing from rose to rose, some of the garden variety are quite large but when we went foraging one windy afternoon by the coast, we found smaller rose hips lining the hedge rows of the cliff tops. I didn't know what I wanted to do with them at that time, I just knew I wanted to make something. Rose hips have a very sweet taste and can be used in cakes or jelly, they are dried to make tea or cold pressed for their oil. I settled on making a simple jam.

Slice up the oranges and remove the stems from the rose hips. Weigh out your fruit, mine came to 13oz, which means I needed equal weight of sugar. To start with I placed the fruit in a saucepan, with enough water to allow the fruit to gently simmer and soften. Allow the water to completely evaporate but keep watching because if it goes too far it will burn the bottom of the pan. Then pour in a little more water and stir so that the water has a caramelly look. Continue simmering until the fruit has turned to pulp then add the sugar; stir the until it has dissolved completely then turn up the heat and bring to a rolling boil. Watch carefully and after about 10 minutes, test the jam for set (drop a small amount onto a cold plate and leave to cool, if the jam wrinkles when it is cool then it will set). When ready, leave to cool slightly then pour into sterilised jars and cover.