Wild Dog Rose Hip & Cardamon Tea
The Autumn season is one for preserving, prepping, harvesting and hoarding for the winter. I love walking, I love a brew and I love cooking so I have combined these loves and put together a recipe for you to try and and make best use of your simmering oven.
You will find Rose Hips in most hedgerows at this time of year with their distinctive red and rambling thorny branches. Dog Rose Hips are the sweetest and often the largest so will give you the most fruits for your labour.
Once you have returned from your walk, dried your socks and warmed your toes, wash the rose hips well in tap water and remove any squishy bruised or overripe ones. Stick your nose in! the smell is subtle, fruity and floral. One of autumns simple pleasures!
Now you need to dry them, not dry them out at this stage, but let the air get around them. I was lucky enough to have some sunshine, and I left them to soak up the rays for an hour or so. Then you need to top and tail them. You will see at this stage the small hairs inside and the seeds. We will remove the hairs later on as they are an irritant and in fact make itching powder, keep the kids away!
Add a few cardamon pods, opening them first to release the aroma. Now you are ready to dry them out, I used the simmering oven that sits at around 115℃. I used one of our full oven size baking trays. This process took around 3 hours, checked every half an hour or so to move them about. Do be careful not to burn yourself, use an oven glove or gauntlet. They will satisfyingly start to harden and crinkle. Take one out when you think that they are nearly there, and if it hardens as it cools and doesn't 'yield' anymore to your touch, then take them out. Let them cool.
Heres the fun bit! Use your food processor with blade to coarsely chop the hips. Not too fine, as you need to release the hair fibres when you sieve, which is the next stage. Do it a few times to be sure.
And now you can enjoy the fruits of your labour! I put a couple of desert spoons in a mid size tea pot, and let it brew for a generous time. 5 mins. Pop your pot under a tea cosy to keep it toasty. The tea is high in vitamin C and I think with a spoonful of wild honey will be the perfect autumnal tonic.
Let me know how you get on! And please share with me any more tea making tips!