Rose Hip Jam

This jam is somewhat of a marmalade jam, given the inclusion of the orange. It uses orange and grated apple to supply natural pectin, so you do not need to add commercial pectin to this recipe.

  • Yield: Makes 6 8-ounce jars

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts large rosehips
  • 1 large orange
  • 1 large green apple
  • The zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 6 cups water
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter

Special equipment:

  • 6 8-ounce canning jars and fresh lids
  • Cheesecloth

Method

1 Prepare the canning jars: You'll need 6 to 7 half-pint canning jars and lids. Sterilize the jars by either running them through the dishwasher, right before canning, or placing them on a rack in a large pot of water that you bring to a boil for 10 minutes, or by placing them in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes.

To sterilize the lids, bring a kettle of a couple cups of water to a boil. Place lids in a shallow bowl and pour the boiling water over them.

2 Prepare the rose hips: Cut away and discard the green scraggly ends. Cut the rose hips in half and scrape out and discard all of the seeds and thistle-y hairy bits.

Rinse the rose hips and discard any bits that are blemished. Then roughly chop the rose hips. You will need 4 cups of clean, chopped rose hips.

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3 Prep the orange: Cut off and discard the ends of the orange. Slice the orange lengthwise into wedges. Remove (and reserve) any seeds, and if you can, remove and reserve membranes. Take the wedges and cut each one of them so that you have a bunch of little triangles of orange.

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4 Prep the apple: Peel the apple, reserving the peel. Then grate the apple with a cheese grater (large hole). Chop up the core and reserve.

5 Add fruit to pot, prepare cheesecloth bag of apple core, orange seeds for pectin: Place the chopped rose hips, grated apple, and chopped orange into a large (8-quart) wide pot. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice to the pot. Add the water to the pot.

Take the apple core pieces, apple peel, and any orange seeds and membrane and place in a double layer of cheesecloth. (This will be a source of pectin.) Wrap them up and place in the pot with the chopped fruit and rose hips.

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6 Boil until peels are very soft: Bring mixture to a hard boil for 30 minutes or so, or until the orange peels are very soft and can be easily cut through without resistance.

7 Squeeze pectin from cheesecloth bag: Remove from heat. Remove the cheesecloth pectin bag and place in a bowl to cool. Once cool enough to handle easily, gently squeeze the cheesecloth pouch to extract more of the pectin (it will be sort of gloppy). Add the extracted pectin-y juice back into the pan with the rose hips.

8 Add sugar, boil again: Measure out the sugar and add to the rose hip mixture. Heat to high, stirring with a wooden spoon until the sugar has all dissolved. Add butter (will help keep the foaming down). Bring to a rapid boil, uncovered, reduce heat to medium high.

9 Test for set: Place a small plate in your freezer. After about 25 minutes begin testing the jam by placing a small amount on the chilled plate. Allow 30 seconds to pass and then run your finger through it to see what the cooled consistency will be.

Boil for a few minutes longer if desired for a thicker jam. Do not overcook or the mixture will caramelize and give you an odd taste.

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10 Ladle into jars: Ladle the mixture into hot, sterilized canning jars. Wipe the rims of the jars clean with a dampened paper towel. Seal them with the sterilized lids, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace.

11 Process in water bath (optional) To ensure a good seal, and to guard against mold, if you want, you can process the jars in a water bath for 5 minutes (bacteria is already killed by the sugar).

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 5 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.