A Swiss regional food product known as Buttenmost contains the fruit of the rose plant. Though the process of making it is quite labor intensive, this purée of rose hips has a unique flavor. I used it to prepare a velvety jam that reminds me of a floral apple butter.
Buttenmost in Hochwald, Switzerland
Buttenmost has its origins in Switzerland’s cantons of Solothurn, Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft. Today, the village of Hochwald is particularly known for making this regional specialty. According to Patrimoine Culinaire Suisse, the residents of this small village have earned the nickname of “Buttenklopfer.” This translates to something like “rose hip tapper” because the traditional method involved tapping the rose hips on a wooden board with a mallet to remove the seeds.
Decades ago there were dozens of families who produced Buttenmost in Hochwald. Today, you can find this product from the Ming and Vögtli Family.
Making Homemade Buttenmost
Knowing that Buttenmost is traditional Swiss food, and seeing photos on Instagram of someone making it at home, I decided to try it myself. I had already noticed someone collecting these little oval fruits from the rose bushes along Lake Neuchâtel, so I went there to pick my own. My hands looked pretty rough afterwards, but it did not take long to fill up my small bucket.
Back at home, I placed the rose hips in the freezer. I had read that it helps to soften them up a bit. The next day, I took the rose hips out and washed them, pulling off any remaining stems or dried flower petals. After that, I cut off the black, stringy end of the fruit. Then, I put the cleaned, trimmed rose hips in a large pot. Adding about twice as much water as the rose hips, I brought it to a boil.
At this point, as the fruit began to soften, I contemplated my options… Either I could carefully remove all the seeds by hand, as recommended by a recipe I saw from Migusto. Or, I could continue to boil them and push them through a sieve to remove all the seeds and the skin. I decided to take the easy route. I smashed up the rose hips in the pot as they continued to boil down.
Once I had squished all the seeds out of each of the rose hips in the pot, I took this wet, mushy mixture and passed it all through a metal sieve. I pressed the liquid and fruit into a bowl, and all the seeds and skins stayed in the sieve. I definitely lost some of the fruit using this method, although I felt relieved to avoid the tedious step of taking out all the seeds by hand.
Hagebuttenkonfitüre / Confiture de cynorrhodon
With the bowl of my homemade Buttenmost, I made a small batch of jam: Hagebuttenkonfitüre (in German) or Confiture de cynorrhodon (in French). I heated the purée on the stove and stirred in some sugar to taste until it sufficiently thickened. Then, I continued stirring it almost constantly to prevent it from burning. Some recipes call for lemon or orange juice, vanilla or pectin. I just kept it simple with rose hips, sugar and water.
My fresh jam was not canned for preservation, but instead added to a few jars for quick consumption. If you make it this way, it needs to be refrigerated and eaten quickly.
If you don’t want to make your own rose hip jam, you may be able to find it at specialty food shops. Supermarkets, such as Coop and Migros, also carry it. Although, you may have to order it online if you can’t find it in your local store.
For more information:
- Buttenmost, Patrimoine Culinaire Suisse (Culinary Heritage of Switzerland)