Monday, October 31, 2011

Rose Jelly

One good thing about our current location is the abundance of wild roses.  I love the smell of wild rose and they are pretty to look at.  I've thought over the years about using the rose hips in something.  I knew you could or least thought I did because while shopping in the asian stores I would see rose water and such things.  They use roses to make those, don't they? 
This year was the year of trying.  After hours on the internet (to which my children with complain about) I found a jelly recipe I thought I would try and also a candy one.  The candy is delicious, but in my book a pain to make.  It was just awkward to scoop out the seeds and hairy things out of the rose hips.  Maybe you have bigger rose hips than me and it would be easy, but for me it was too time consuming to make.  After the scooping though the rest is a breeze.
The jelly I used on my breakfast this morning and yummm!  This was very easy to make and will be made again so long as I have access to roses.  Surprisingly the taste is not that of roses as one might think.  I've read that it is like hibiscus, but that is a taste I'm unfamiliar with.  The jelly and candy does of a familiar taste, but one I am unable to name at the moment.  Anyway, who really cares?  It's good and that's all you need to know.

2 quarts rose hips
1 1/2 quarts water
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 package SureJell pectin
1/4 teaspoon butter
3 1/2 cups sugar
6 (8-ounce) canning jars and fresh lids

1.  Rinse the rose hips thoroughly. Cut off the scraggly ends and discard.
2.  Place rose hips in a large pot. Add 1 1/2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook until rose hips are soft and mashable.
3.  Use a potato masher to mash up the rose hips into a rough purée. Set up a jelly bag, or a large very fine mesh strainer, or 4 layers of cheesecloth over a bowl or large pot. Transfer the rose hip mixture into the jelly bag/strainer/cheesecloth. Let strain into the bowl for at least an hour. Squeeze the jelly bag or cheesecloth to get more remaining juice out.
4.  Measure the juice. You will need 3 cups of juice for this recipe, so if you have less than 3 cups, add more water to the mixture (you can also add some boiling water to the jelly bag if you still have it set up, allowing more liquid to drain out).
5.  Place 3 cups of the rose hip juice in a large, wide pot. Add the lemon juice and pectin. Bring to a boil, dissolving all of the pectin. Add the sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the butter. Bring to a hard boil (one that you can not reduce by stirring). The mixture will bubble up considerably. Boil for exactly one minute. Then remove from heat and pour off into prepared canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace from the rim.
6.  If any jelly falls on the rim as your pour it into the jars, wipe the rim with a damp paper towel. Place sterilized lids on jars and rings to secure.  To process, place the jars on a rack in a large, tall stock pot. Cover with an inch of water and bring to a rolling boil for 10 minutes. Then turn off the heat, remove the jars from the water, and let cool. As the jars cool you should hear a popping sound as the lids seal. The lids should seal; if not, store in the refrigerator.

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