Rosehip ketchup

Rosehip ketchup

Nordic Light
1 large jar
10 mins
Cooking time
30 mins
Simon Bajada

Rosehips are abundant towards the end of summer in Nordic countries. Many dwindle away on the branch to no use, but syrups and jams are marvellous products made from this interesting foraged ingredient.

It’s difficult to describe the flavour of this ketchup – I suppose it’s a mix between the earthiness of dried prune and the acidity of apple. It’s a pleasant addition to cold meat dishes, in a cheese sandwich or with raw vegetables as a dip. For this recipe, try to pick rosehips that are plump, slightly soft and crush under the pressure of your fingers when pressed (be careful when applying this last test though – they can be prickly!).


Quantity Ingredient
2kg rosehips, stems and tails attached
1 garlic clove, finely diced
1 large onion, finely chopped
100ml malt vinegar
60g brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice


  1. Preheat the oven to 100°C. Sterilise a glass jar by washing it thoroughly in hot soapy water, rinsing well, then putting it on a baking tray in the oven for 20 minutes. Leave to cool.
  2. Pour 200 ml of water into a saucepan, add the rosehips, garlic and onion, cover with a lid and cook over a medium heat for 20–25 minutes, until the rosehips are soft to the centre when pressed hard (the exact timing will vary depending on the size of the rosehips – you may need to add more water as you’re cooking if the pan looks like drying out).
  3. Pass the rosehips through a sieve into a bowl in batches. This can be tedious, but the goal is to extract as much of the rosehip pulp from the seeds as possible. To extract more of the pulp, tip the seed mixture from the sieve back into the pan with an extra 100 ml of water and heat again before sieving as before.
  4. When all the flesh is extracted, return it to the saucepan together with the vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat and cook for 10 minutes, until the mixture turns a deep red and has the consistency of a thick sauce. If the ketchup seems too thick, add a splash of water.
  5. Pour the ketchup into the prepared jar, seal and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
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