24. Rosehip pie

Urban foraging prevails again.

This time I found a bunch of roses growing unchecked on a roadside public property.  I’d been eating a super delicious rosehip jam for a week–and finding a surplus of rosehip right in front of me, my mind immediately went to pie (as it is wont to do). I filled up a little bag full of rosehips and pedaled home– ignoring the fact that I had absolutely no clue how to cook with rosehips.

Pick rose hips when they’re red, but no spines are poking through them.  The bigger the rose hips the better, because each one has to be de-seeded, and doing that with miniature hips is more hassle than it’s worth (I found this out and ended up just tossing half my supply of rose hips because they were too small… alas).

Wash the hips well (you never know what they’ve been sprayed with).  Cut off the ends, and cut each hip in half from stem-side to sepal-side.  Put all the halves in a big bowl of water, and (using your fingers) scrape out seeds from each one.  The seeds are buoyant enough that they make the hips float– once deseeded, the hips will sink to the bottom of the bowl. Then just pour the seeds/water out, double check your hips for seeds (nope. not just one hip-check), and rinse again.  I felt awesome when I thought up this method.

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INGREDIENTS (for one mini pie):

  • 2/3 cup rosehips- deseeded
  • 1/2 peach
  • 1/2 Tbsp rosehip jam
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp tapioca starch
  • 1 pat of butter.

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Roll out a bottom crust, place in mini pie tin (or several cupcake tins…), and smear some rosehip jam (or other jam…).  As you’ll note, my rosehip jam looks disturbingly like ketchup. I was tempted to make little “fries” out of the remainder of my dough and simply dip them in rose jam.  Unfortunately for us both, I didn’t.

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Put the hips in a bit of water and microwave for 2 minutes, until softened. Pour off the water (I’m sipping mine as I write this– it’s oddly grassy, but super high in vitamin C)

Mix the starch and honey into the hips, then put mixture inside a mini pie tin with bottom pie crust. Line the edges of the pie with slivered peach, then top with the butter pat, and top crust.  Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake in 350F oven for 25-30 minutes.

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The flavor of that rose hip jam was in the rose hips… but not quite as epically.  Perchance because I picked a less flavorful type of rose hip, or picked them too early, or didn’t cook the rose hips down.  They (thankfully) didn’t taste grassy like the juice; rather they reminded me of a mildly citrusy fruit snack flavor.  Certainly not bad, but much lighter and fruitier than the rich berry-like flavor of the jam.  I was thinking that the peach would be a high-note contrast to the deeper rose hip– instead they were about equally as tart.

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It was pretty fun to eat, and an extra drizzle of honey on top solved some of the flavor troubles (I don’t think I put enough sugar in the pie to overcome the acidity of the rosehips and get to that sweeter flavor). But it still wasn’t quite the rich flavor I was hoping for, and I don’t love the grittiness the rosehips had as they broke down in my mouth.  Honestly my favorite part of the pie was the crust with that sliver of peach and a dab of rosehip jam.  That part was awesome.

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So before I cook with rosehips again, I’m going to need to take some time to find out how to get the right flavor from them, and also cook them down properly.  Apparently it’s not quite as simple as I’d hoped.

Verdict: promising flavors, fun to make, not quite there.

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