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Rose Hip Jelly

August 19, 2010

I was driving home from the farmers’ market in Gravenhurst yesterday with my eyes peeled for more milkweed pods and instead I found a bountiful supply of rose hips.  Perfect…I’ll make rose hip jelly instead.  Again, this little gem uses a fruit that you can forge yourself and that always brings out my gathering instincts.  In minutes I was easily able to pick a 2 litre basket of rose hips.  Now, watch out for those thorns!

The juice from this wild berry is rich in vitamin C and will be a delicious treat on fresh-baked scones or with a little creamy cheese.  Because this tiny fruit is so full of seeds it is impossible to eat raw so jelly making is the perfect alternative. 


  • 4 cups rose hips; stemmed and rinsed
  • 2 pounds cooking or tart apples; Granny Smiths or even crab apples would work well
  • 3/4 cup white cane sugar for every 1 cup of juice collected
  • red food colouring; optional
  1. Rinse and stem rose hips in cool water.  Wash and roughly chop the apples removing the stem and blossom end but leaving the peel, seeds, and core.  Note:  General rule of thumb for making this jelly is  to use 2 pounds of tart apples with every 4 cups of rose hips (stemmed and rinsed).
  2. Place rose hips and apples in a stainless steel preserving pan and add enough water to cover them.  Simmer gently for around 45 minutes OR until the fruit is soft and broken apart.  REMEMBER if you are doing more than 4 cups at a time it will take longer to cook the mixture to a pulpy consistency.
  3. Using a food mill separate the skins, seeds, and cores from the pulp and juice OR press the fruit with the back of a spoon through a mesh sieve over a bowl to collect the juice.
  4. Pour both the collected juice and the mashed fruit into a jelly bag and let it drip undisturbed over night (Note:  we put our jelly bag over a 1.9 Litre mason jar but the jelly bag from Lee Valley is much easier to work with).
  5. The next day, discard the pulp mixture from the jelly bag.
  6. Pour the collected juice through the jelly bag for a second time to remove any remaining pulp.  This will help to ensure your jelly is clear.
  7. Allow 3/4 cup warmed white sugar for every 1 cup of juice.
  8. Place the juice and warmed sugar in a stainless steel preserving pan and stir over low heat until all of the sugar has dissolved.   Add red food colouring (optional) if you want to intensify the colour of the jelly  ~ some rose hips are more orange in colour than others and a drop or two of red food colouring will change the end result.
  9. Then turn up the heat and boil rapidly to reach the setting point.
  10. Jell test: using a plate that has been cooled in the freezer place a small spoonful of hot jelly onto the plate.  Try to separate with the tip of your finger and if the liquid stays separated you know it is ready.  Remove from heat and skim any foam.
  11. Pour hot jelly into hot sterilized jars leaving a 1/4″ head space, remove any air bubbles, if necessary top up with jelly, wipe rims, and add sterilized lids and rings to finger tip tight.
  12. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling hot water bath.  When time is up turn off the heat and remove the lid.  Let jars stand in hot water bath for 5 minutes before removing. 
  13. Check seals, label, and store.

This jelly turned out wonderful.  It has a rich earthy essence with a light familiar sweetness.  A dollop placed on fresh-baked scones is bound to impress.

Put up Total Today:

  • 3 x 375mL
  • 4 x 250mL
  • 1 x 125mL

Put up Total August 22nd:

  • 4 x 250mL regular mason jars
  • 1 x 250mL wide mouth jars
  • 1 x 125mL regular mason jar
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Katie permalink
    March 13, 2011 3:51 pm

    I make rose hip jelly every year from hips I harvest at our cottage in Tobermory. I have not used apples in my recipe. Is it to stretch out the rose hips and make more juice? I have to admit that I am hesitant to change my recipe but will keep yours to try, at least one batch, in the fall. Thanks for your recipes…they sound delicious…expecially the tomato jam which is on my “try” list for this year.

    • March 13, 2011 5:14 pm

      We would love to hear your recipe and if you’d like please send it to us. We too are always interested in trying something new…you never know which you will like better. Apples provide pectin and are a great way to reduce ph levels and ensure a great set without changing the flavour of the main ingredient.
      The tomato jam is fabulous and I would highly recommend trying it at least once…you never know if you’ll get as hooked as we have!?!

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