Robert May, on Making ‘A Tart of Hips’

"Take hips, cut them and take out the seeds very clean, then wash them and season them with sugar, cinamon, and ginger, close the tart, bake it, ice it, scrape on sugar, and serve it in."

Robert May, The Accomplisht Cook: Or, the Art and Mystery of Cookery (1665)

There are rosehips all over the place at the moment, and it seems a bit of a waste to let them all just sit there and rot away over the winter. Short of making up a huge batch of rosehip syrup in case I get a cold though, I was at a bit of a loss as to what else you could do with these presumably largely inedible fruits.

Good old Robert May to the rescue, with the recipe above. Typically vague, of course: “Take hips” – a goodly amount, one supposes – then “take out the seeds very thin” – yeah, I’m not sure I fancy that, it sounds like a horribly fiddly job to me – then “season them with sugar, cinamon [sic] and ginger” – easy enough – before closing the tart and baking it. Pastry, though. Not my thing. Rosehip syrup it is then, after all.

How about you? Are you feeling a bit more adventurous than me? Have you got time for all that fiddly de-seeding? If you’ve got rosehips aplenty and an urge to make up a tart, please do let me know how you get on, via the comments below.

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