The bright red seeded berries of the wild rose are known as “hips”. They are found all over the UK, particularly in hedgerows skirting woodland and along footpaths.
Only the thin fleshy covering of rosehips is edible and they are used, most commonly, to make a subtly flavoured syrup that is delicious with ice cream, pannacotta, rice pudding and pancakes. Do not eat rosehips whole, the “itching powder” seeds inside are an irritant.
To make 2 litres of rosehip syrup, you’ll need a jelly bag (available from good cook shops). Boil 1kg of crushed freshly picked rosehips in 1.75 litres of boiling water and allow to stand for 15 minutes.
Pour the rosehip mixture through a jelly bag then repeat the process from the start using the pulp and 900ml boiling water. In a clean pan, reduce the juice, lower heat and stir in 450g caster sugar, boil for 5 minutes then pour into sterilised jars.