Das Hagebuttenmark, also called Hägenmark (Swabian dialect), Hiffenmark (Franconian) or Buttenmost (Switzerland), is a fruit preserve made from rose hips, sugar, and sometimes red wine. In the past it was an important addition on the everyday menu as it is very rich in Vitamin C and can be harvested in winter. It’s used as a spread on bread, as a sweetener in drinks, and as a condiment in desserts and pastries. It’s also the filling for Krapfen in Franken (Franconia). Generally there are 2 ways to prepare it. In the most common method used by big companies, the rose hips are seeded, then the seeds are cooked with water or wine and drained, the liquid so obtained together with the pulp is then let to brew for a few hours to a few days. Then the pulp is cooked and puréed, mixed with sugar at a 1-to-1 rate, cooked again and filled hot in jars. This kind of preparation guarantees a long shelf life but, as Vitamin C is not heat-resistant, only traces of it remain in the finished product. In the traditional Swabian method the rose hips are cut open and stored until soft (~5 days in a temp of 12 °C). Then they are filtered through a sieve without being cooked. This pulp is then heated with sugar to about 75 °C (but it can also be mixed cool with honey) and flavored with wine, orange or apple juice. With method 2, the preserve is very rich in Vitamin C. It’s the typical preparation in Bad Ditzenbach-Auendorf aka the “Hägenmarkdorf” - the only village in Germany that features rose hips in their coat of arms.
As the rose hip contains much Vitamin C (100 g of the edible parts contain 1045 mg) the fruit preserves is considered very healthy. For comparison, 100 g of the edible parts of lemons contain only 51 mg Vitamin C. A study from the University of Jena proved that rose hips also contain lycopene, which protects cells against free radicals and therefore reduces the risk of cancer, thrombosis, arteriosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. In the skin it protects cells from harmful UV radiation and prevents sunburns.