Candied rosehips are the most delightful, magical Christmas treat! They look like little red, sparkling gems and are sure to make whoever is receiving them incredibly curious! They're similar to candied cranberries, but much sweeter, with a jammy, rosehip flavour that is somehow nostalgic, even if you haven't tried it before! They can simply be eaten straight from the jar like sweets, or they can be used in a range of Christmas recipes.
A wonderful superfood, rosehips are an incredibly nutritious ingredient and a powerful medicine all in one little package. Rosehips were such a valuable food source in times gone by, because of their ridiculously high levels of vitamin C (almost 13 x higher than oranges!). They also have powerful anti-inflammatory qualities, which studies show may help people with heart disease and even arthritis! Because of this, traditional rosehip syrup was a well known medicine / sweet treat.
Candied rosehips are incredibly easy to make, but will require a little time to scoop out the scratchy seeds from inside! Personally, I think all that time spent is all part of making someone a homemade gift, packed with love!
There are so many ways to use candied rosehips, but here are some of my favourites:
Cut the candied rosehips up into fine shreds and use like candied peel in recipes like Florentines or simply to garnish cakes and cookies.
Pour the whole jar of candied rosehips into a saucepan with water, reduce and strain to make a wonderfully nutritious rosehip syrup! The syrup can be taken medicinally by the spoonful or used as a wonderful ingredient in cocktail making or drizzled straight onto cakes.
Stir your candied rosehips into a sweet mincemeat recipe and then make wild mince pies.
Eat them straight from the jar like sweets. (You could even add some citric acid into the sugar you coat them in to make them fizzy - little kids will love this!)
Firstly, I'm happy to tell you that all rose hips are edible, whether they are wild dog roses or garden roses! So, you might find rosehips in your own garden. All rosehips are shiny red berries, packed full of tiny seeds covered in hairs. Wild roses tend to have an elongated, bullet shaped, as you can see in the pictures below, whereas garden roses may be fatter and rounder.
To make sure you have a rose plant, look for oval leaves with serrated edges, and thorns that curve backwards.
If you are picking garden rosehips, make sure they have not been sprayed with weed killer.
Candied Christmas rosehip recipe
This recipe makes roughly 1 full jar of candied rosehips.
120 ml water
300 g granulated sugar, divided
400 g hard rosehips, (picked before the first frost)
First process your rosehips. Cut them open lengthways (this part may be tricky, so mind your fingers!) and with a small spoon, thoroughly remove all the the seeds and hairs from inside. Wash thoroughly and allow to dry.
In a medium saucepan, combine the water and 100g sugar. Bring to a boil and let it simmer on low heat for 3 minutes.
Stir in the rosehips until fully coated in the sugar solution and then remove from heat and continue to stir for 1 minute.
Remove rosehips with a slotted spoon and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Allow to partially dry for around 1 hour.
Roll the rosehips in the remaining sugar and place in a warm, dry environment and allow to dry completely overnight.
In the morning, the rosehips can be placed in an airtight container.
Rosehips will last for at least 3 months.
This recipe is adapted from a candied cranberry recipe from @NatashasKitchen.
If you're planning on trying this recipe, let me know in the comments below! I'd love to see your results, share a picture on Instagram and tag me @foragedbyfern