The rosehips in the hedgerows and garden are ready to pick.
There are deep red round rosehips on the Rosa Rugosa and large round, orange rosehips on The Generous Gardener bush in the garden.
Brightly coloured oval rosehips grow in various hedges around the farm.
It seems a shame not to use them somehow. Here’s a few ideas to use these pretty autumnal fruits.
Thread a needle with cotton and push it through each rosehip. Use a tiny piece of twig at the bottom to stop the hips falling off and use it as a hanging decoration or make a mini garland to string across a small window.
Twist a few branches of willow into a circle and add rosehips, crab apples and acorns to make an autumn wreath. Use a ready made wreath if you don’t have any suitable whippy branches.
AUTUMN PUDDING of ROSEHIP FOOL
If you look up recipes for using rosehips, they mostly instruct you to boil them up and strain them through a jelly bag to extract their juice to make syrups, jellies and soups (being acidic, you can use them instead of tomatoes). Alternatively, you can slit open every rosehip, extract the seeds and hairs and use the flesh for making teas, jams or tarts.
However, the easiest way to use rosehips is to make rosehip puree. Give the freshly picked rosehips a good wash and then simmer them in an equal quantity of water for an hour until they’re soft and squidgy. Allow them to cool a little and then put them through a food mill to puree the flesh and sieve out the seeds in one go. Pushing the puree through a fine sieve afterwards makes sure that all the seeds and hairs are removed. If you don’t have a food mill, just sieve them. You can use the rosehip puree to make soup or use them as you would any other fruit puree. I find that 500g of rosehips simmered with 500g of water gives me about 400g of puree.
The best pairing for the rosehip puree is a little sugar and cream so the ideal simple and delicious thing to make is an autumnal Rosehip Fool. Vary the quantities according to numbers; the recipe below will make six generous helpings.
240g rosehip puree (see the method above)
3 tablespoons caster sugar
300ml double cream
Whip the cream until it’s soft and floppy. Add the sugar and puree and briefly whip to ensure it’s evenly incorporated. Spoon into six serving dishes.
You can eat this straight away or leave it to settle for a couple of hours in the fridge.