Rose Hip Jam

Photo by:

Rugosa Rose Hips — Photo by

Rugosa Rose

Rugosa Rose — Photo by Katie Meyers

Created and contributed by Becky Hoff, Rose Hip Jam is a low-sugar cooked jam made with Pomona’s Pectin. Pomona’s Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener. See below for where to buy.

Becky says, “Rose hips are the fruit of the rose bush. In my yard I am lucky enough to have a hedge of Rugosa roses, which in my opinion produce the best hips for jam making. They are tart and delicious, like a cross between an apple and a berry – but they are not very big. They are harvested in the late summer or fall when they are a bright reddish orange.”

Yield: 3 to 4 cups

Before You Begin:
Prepare calcium water. To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well. Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.

How to Make Rose Hip Puree

There are two schools of thought on how to make Rose Hip Jam. Some say you should slice open every single hip, use a teaspoon to scrape out the seeds, discard the seeds, and only use what is left to make your jam. I tried this once, and gave up on it about 1½ hours into the project. It was tedious and time consuming, and I didn’t get very far. I cut the remaining hips in half and proceeded as below.

My (lazy) method involves cutting the rose hips in half, simmering them for about 20 minutes in enough water to keep them from sticking, mashing well, and pressing the pulp through a strainer. The resulting puree is then used to make the jam. It took about two and a half quarts of whole rose hips to make three cups of puree.

Rose Hip Jam Ingredients

3 cups of strained rose hip puree
3 teaspoons calcium water
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1½ cups sugar
1½ teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin powder
(For a firmer jell, use up to 2¼ teaspoons pectin.)

Rose Hip Jam Directions

1. Wash jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and keep jars in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small sauce pan; cover and heat to a low boil. Turn off heat and keep lids in hot water until ready to use.

2. Measure fruit into sauce pan.

3. Add calcium water and lemon juice, and mix well.

4. Measure sugar into a bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into sugar. Set aside.

5. Bring fruit mixture to a full boil. Add pectin-sugar mixture, stirring vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin while the jam comes back up to a boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.

6. Fill hot jars to ¼” of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Check seals; lids should be sucked down. Eat within 1 year. Lasts 3 weeks once opened.

This jam has an easily spreadable consistency due to the amount of pectin used and pureeing the rose hips. It is sweet-tart and good, and when you’re slathering this jam on your breakfast toast in the winter, it brightens up your morning considerably. Of course you could go through the trouble and effort of slicing and deseeding all of your rose hips before cooking them down if you wanted a chunkier jam. This might be a reasonable job for a group of people – grab some friends, a bottle or two of wine, and get to work!

Rose Hip Jam on Toast

Rose Hip Jam on Toast
Photo by Becky Hoff

For more inspiring recipe ideas, see Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin: The Revolutionary Low-Sugar, High-Flavor Method for Crafting and Canning Jams, Jellies, Conserves, and More by Allison Carroll Duffy and the Pomona’s Partners, published by Fair Winds Press, June 2013, and available in paper or ebook everywhere books are sold.

Pomona’s Pectin is available at your local natural food store, food co-op, and many farm stands. Find it also at Sur La Table and a growing number of more conventional grocery stores with natural food sections (Wegmans, Hy-Vee, Rosauers, Nugget Markets, Coborns, Fairway, and others). If you can’t find a store near you on our store locator, you can order from our website or many other online sellers.

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13 thoughts on “Rose Hip Jam

  1. Hi. I was wondering if anyone has tried cooking the rosehips until they are just soft then put them through a foodmill with a cheese cloth under the mill to catch the finer bits or without the cheese cloth to address the seed removal issue?

    • We just tried this tonight. We started with another recipe which instructed to simmer the rosehips for an hour then instead of mashing them we ran it through a food mill but found it too much work and tiring on the arm. There was too much stuff between the pulp and seeds. I would
      also recommend getting a not too fine sieve as the seeds will get in the way of draining the juice.

      Thanks for recipe. This is the best pectin! Plenty sweet work only 1.5 cups sugar. It would be way too much with 3+cups which is required with other pectins.

  2. I make Rose Hip Jam in an area where it is a local specialty. After several years of different methods I have found that the cook and sieve method works best. I find the biggest problem with rose hips is picking them. Here in the San Luis Valley, it requires waiting till the first frost to pick them, then drying them to get the worms out (that have invaded the fruit after the frost softened it) etc. etc. I have chosen to go out before the first frost (worm free) then pop the hips in the freezer overnight for the same effect before cooking.

  3. I’ve made rosehip jam quite a few times, using the time-consuming method of cutting them in half and removing the seeds. My experience with the seeds makes me leery about the second method mentioned: the seeds are awfully small, and I can’t imagine keeping those irritating (literally) seeds out with a sieve.

    • Hi Scott,
      I contacted Becky Hoff, the Rose Hip Jam recipe creator. She says:

      “To address the question about straining the rose hip mixture, as I recall I used a fine mesh strainer. Not so fine as to be a jelly bag, though. This seemed to work well enough for what I was doing, and I was satisfied with the texture of the finished product.”

      If you do try straining out the seeds this way, would love to hear about your results.

      Thanks for using Pomona’s — and happy jamming!

    • You can make jam from dried roships- we do. If you buy them from or they are all chopped up without seeds so you can leave it chunky or puree. One of my herb books says to pour apple juice to cover rose hips and let it sit overnight- in the morning you have jam.

      • I bought 1 pound of rose hips from MountainRoseHerbs, after reading above. It yielded about 2 gallons of product, very tasty. I did strain it after soaking, cooking, and putting through food processor, as there were stray seeds and bits I didn’t want in jam. Thanks for the idea. So much easier than picking and certified organic.

    • Dear Angelique,
      Neither Becky Hoff, the recipe author, nor we have ever made jam from dried rose hips, so we can’t give you an exact answer of how that might work. I asked Becky what she would do. She said: “I have in the past dried rose hips for tea. Rose hips have sort of tomato-y undertones, and it’s been my experience that the tea tastes even more tomato-y than the fresh hips. As far as making a jam from the dried rose hips, I am not sure how that would turn out. Perhaps she could try making a strong tea from the dried hips, and then jellying the tea? A fresh rose hip/jalapeno jam sounds pretty good, I could see those flavors working well together.”

      If you wanted to make Rose Hip Tea and turn that into a jelly, you could use our basic recipe for Herb Jelly for the other ingredients and the method, which is here: Herb Jelly.

      We have also heard from others about making jam from dried rose hips in the way that Katrina suggests in her comment on your question — no pectin needed. We have never done it, though.

      We have never made a Rose Hip-Jalapeno Jam either, so we don’t have a tested recipe for that. If you have fresh rose hips and want to experiment, you could work with the Strawberry-Jalapeno Jam recipe on our website and substitute the fresh rose hips for the strawberries.

      Since the strawberries in that recipe are chopped, not pureed as the rose hips are in the fresh rose hip jam recipe, the measurements are different. You could use Becky’s tedious method with the rose hips to get rid of the seeds or possibly puree them and use a little extra pectin in the recipe. We can’t tell you exactly since we’ve never done it.

      One issue is that the pH of rose hips varies; we don’t have an exact number, so it is very important to add the lemon juice and/or vinegar as called for in the Strawberry-Jalapeno Jam recipe (if using fresh rose hips) and the Herb Jelly recipe (if using dried rose hips) to insure a proper pH for safe water bath canning.

      I hope this helps — please do get back in touch if you have more questions. And if you try one of these ideas, we’d love to hear about the results.

    • Here’s my recipe:
      1 1/3 cup dried rosehips
      2 cups distilled water
      1-2 tablespoons butter
      3 tablespoons pectin

      Yields 3 pints.

      I put these in a pan, then bring to a boil. I add 3 cups of sugar (less is fine – mine are usually very bitter, and as I only put sugar in this jam and do not eat sugar at all otherwise, it’s fine to me), then if I want to add something else – like jalapeño, I’d just add it then. I’d personally use 2-3 jalapeños, depending on how hot. Leave the seeds in, again, depending on how hot.

      I boil everything until the hips are soft, and then pour in jars. I don’t strain out seeds or bark if there are any in the jam.


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