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Rosehip Mince Pies

Mince pies have a long history almost as rich as they are, originating somewhere around the 13th Century. Over time they've come to be made without the 'mince' but the blend of spices and fruits has stayed much the same. This recipe is a slightly wild take on the traditional ingredients, making the most of some deliciously fruity Rosehips.

All rosehips are edible, from the wild and untamable Dog Rose, to the delicate garden roses, but for this recipe I have personally chosen to use the ripe, juicy fruits of the Japanese rose, Rosa rugosa, simply for the fact that they are much easier to process! While rosehips are edible, they contain hundreds of seeds which are covered in tiny hairs which can cause itchy irritation to the skin and gut if consumed, so they are best removed. This can be quite a time consuming process, especially when working with the smaller, much harder rosehips like the ones of the Dog Rose.

rose hips from the japanese rose

I needed to gather around 75g of rosehips for this recipe, and living in an urban town, I've found that the Japanese rose is quite abundant, so gathering what I needed didn't take too long, and I didn't have to venture all to far from my house before I had a full basket. Rosehips freeze beautifully, so they can be kept in the freezer for a few months, until its time to start making mince pies!

I'll confess that I'm not very good at making pastry, and I usually tend to rely on store bought pastry when I'm making pies of any kind, so I haven't included the ingredients or process to make your own pastry. If you can, I would recommend trying to find or make sweet pastry for this recipe, just for that added sweetness. I used about 1 1/2 rolls of pre-made pastry, but that will all depend on how you wish to decorate them! Instead of a fully encloused pie, I opted for a star shaped crust.

This recipe makes 8 sweet mince pies, but can easily be altered to make more or less. You could also experiment by adding different hedgerow fruits such as hawthorn berries, or dried sloes and bullaces perhaps. Next year I'm hoping to gather a few wild native spices to add to this recipe, for a truly wild mince pie!


Rosehip Mince Pies

Makes 8

75g rosehips

125g sultanas

125g raisins

1 cooking apple, finely chopped

100g light brown sugar

1 tsp mixed spice (1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger, ½ tsp cloves, 1 tsp nutmeg)

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Zest and juice of 1 orange

110 ml brandy

100g butter

  1. Carefully wash and prepare the rosehips, removing the stalks and flower ends. Cut them in half and remove all of the seeds and tiny hairs from the inside.

  2. Add all of the fruit to a large saucepan, along with the sugar and butter. On a low heat, stir until the butter and sugar have melted and come together, and the fruit is evenly mixed.

  3. Add the orange and lemon zest and juice, followed by the spices and brandy and remove from the heat. Leave the flavour to infuse overnight or for 24 hours.

  4. Return the mixture to the hob, over a low heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring to avoid sticking.

  5. Remove from the heat and either bottle in sterilised jars or use after it has cooled slightly.

  6. To make up the mince pies, pre-heat the oven to 180C and grease a cupcake or yorkshire pudding tray.

  7. Prepare your pastry, and roll out onto a flour surface. Using a round cookie cutter, cut out 8 circles and place into the cupcake tray.

  8. Fill the pie casings with about 1 tbsp of sweet mince and brush around the edges of the pie crust with a little milk. Finish off by adding either a round crust or a star and bake for around 15 minutes.



The Cramlington Forager

Here I share my own recipes which I use to make the most of seasonal wild food. You'll find handy foraging guides and plant profiles to help get to know the plants which grow all around us, and to start you down your own foraging journey.


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