Rosehip Jelly

Image of rosehips growingIt was a bit of a wrench picking the hips from the wild roses because they looked so beautiful glowing in the autumn sun, but I consoled myself with the thought that they’d shrivel and drop off soon anyway and I’d be conserving their flavour through the winter, suspended in an amber jelly.

I picked 500g, leaving plenty behind for any hungry wildlife. This jelly is usually made with the fruit of the dog rose, the British native that grows wild in hedgerows. If you’re planning to use other varieties, do please check online as to their edibility.

Bear in mind, too, that the hairy seeds inside the hips can be a serious irritant, although that’s not a problem if you’re making jelly as you’ll strain them out. Pick ripe fruit but discard any that are rotten or badly blemished. Rosehips are a good source of vitamin C and pair well with the crab apples that form the base of this jelly. Try it with roast pork.

Image of rosehips and crab apples

Rosehips and crab apples

Rosehip Jelly

  • Servings: makes around 6 small jars
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Image of rosehips, topped and tailed


500g rosehips, topped and tailed and rinsed clean

1.5 kg crab apples, de-stalked but not peeled or cored

Up to 2 litres of water

Sugar (see method)


Image of rosehips whizzed in a food processorWhizz the prepared rosehips in a food processor (or mince them, but they’re tough little beggars) and put them in a big non-reactive pan.

Chop the crab apples roughly but don’t peel or core them as the pectin in the skins and pips will help the jelly set. Add them to the pan and cover with water – I used just under 2 litres. I’ve written elsewhere about the jelly-making process but to save you looking it up, here it is again …

Bring gently to simmering point and cook until the fruit is soft and squashy. Remove from the heat and when it has cooled a little, pour into a scalded jelly bag suspended over a large bowl or jug. Allow it to drip slowly – don’t press the fruit or the jelly will be cloudy – just leave it for 12 hours or overnight.

Discard the pulp in the bag and measure the juice. For every 450ml/1 pint allow 450g/1lb of sugar. Return to the cleaned pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.

Then boil rapidly without stirring until setting point is reached: 105C/220F with a jam thermometer or when a spoonful put on a chilled saucer wrinkles, once it has cooled, when you push it with your finger. Skim the jelly and pot into sterilised jars. Seal straight away.

Image of pots of rosehip jelly ready for labelling

6 thoughts on “Rosehip Jelly

  1. I have always wanted to try that! Alas, after our last horrible winter, the roses here hardly bloomed, so hardly any hips to be found. Maybe a stupid question, but: what does it taste like?

    • Hi Michelle, we had a mild winter last year, so no shortage here. And not a stupid question at all but one I find hard to answer – rosehip jelly has an elusive perfume, not like rose petals but still somehow redolent of roses. You’ll just have to visit and try it for yourself! (I’d send a jar but I doubt it would survive the postal system).

  2. Hi
    I have lovely wild roses behind my house by the sea. There are loads of rosehips. How do i tell if they are of the edible variety or not

    • Hi Sheridan, I would suggest comparing the rosehips, leaves and growth habit of the roses with pictures and descriptions on a reliable internet site, or in a good forager’s handbook. Cheers, Linda

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