Rosehip Cordial and Rosehip & Apple Jelly

Summer harvest brings many rewards, and the domestic garden at Raglan St has many hidden delights… this simple rose hedge yields enough hips every year to produce both rosehip cordial and a Jelly. A great winter boost when rose becomes a great source of Vitamin C.

You may find it easier to make the jelly over 3 days, making the two extractions of rosehip & apple on separate days and making the jelly on the third. The jelly-making process is a forgiving one – if you don’t think that the jelly has set properly, you can reboil jelly the next day, using a little JamSetter (according to instructions) until you have the desired consistency – I like mine with a little bobble still.


PREP: 1 hour
COOK: 1 hour


For the cordial:
1kg rosehips, washed and chopped
1kg caster sugar
You will also need a jelly bag (or a clean cotton cloth and a big sieve)

For the jelly:
8 cups/900g rose hips, chopped using a food processor
1.8kg apples
½ lemon peel (add to the apples)
1tbls fresh squeezed lemon juice
3.5 cups sugar (see how much liquid is extracted at first, adjust accordingly to match)
1 package JamSetta pectin (if required)


To make the cordial, put two litres of water in a large pan and bring to the boil. Throw in the chopped rosehips, bring back to the boil, then remove from the heat, cover and leave to infuse for half an hour, stirring from time to time. Strain the mixture through a jelly bag. (Alternatively, line a colander with a couple of layers of muslin and place over a large bowl. Tip in the rosehip mixture, and leave suspended over the bowl.)

Set the strained juice aside and transfer the rosehip pulp back to the saucepan, along with another litre of boiling water. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat, infuse for another half an hour and strain as before. Discard the pulp and combine the two lots of strained juice in a clean pan. Bring to the boil, and boil until the volume has decreased by half. Remove from the heat. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Return to the stove, bring to the boil and boil hard for five minutes. Pour into warmed, sterilised jars or bottles and seal. Mix 1 part in 5 with water – and enjoy!


To make the jelly, begin by rinsing the Rosehips thoroughly. Cut off the scraggly ends and discard. Chop the Rosehips, or put them through a food processor until roughly chopped; this helps the softening process along. Place them in an enameled pan and cover the hips with water, boil until soft ( note: you can help them along with a potato masher). Transfer them to a jelly bag or muslin, using an upturned chair; strung to the chair legs; strain overnight. Transfer the liquid to the refrigerator.

Wash the apples, chop them into chunks and take out any bad bits (note: there is no need to peel or core the apples as these add pectin to the mix). Add water to cover of the fruit – they should just be floating; add the lemon zest, bring slowly to the boil and simmer very gently until all the fruit is soft and squishy. Transfer them to a Jelly Bag or Muslin, using an upturned chair; strung to the chair legs; strain over night. Transfer the liquid to the refrigerator.

Combine the liquids, taking care to measure them carefully. For every measure of liquid, add the same weight in white granulated sugar i.e. 550ml liquid = 550g sugar. Add the lemon juice. Slowly bring the combined ingredients to a soft boil, stirring to prevent the sugar from scorching. Once dissolved, turn the heat up, bring the liquid to a rolling boil for about 20 minutes. At this point you will notice the bubbles change consistency. To check the setting point, use a cold/frozen saucer and place a tablespoon on the saucer letting it cool and settle, then drag a line through the jam which will hold when set. Keep boiling until you reach this point. When jelly has reached setting point pour into warm sterilised jars using a funnel and ladle, covering them immediately. I find it beneficial to reboil the jars for 3 mins to make sure each jar is vacuum-seal with no pathogens.