Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Rose Petal Jam - Floral beauty in a jar

When I moved into the cottage almost 14 years ago, I found a few rose plants in the front of the house and was happy to see that these roses were full of fragrance. When my mum moved in with me, she loved the roses so much that we called them 'mums roses' and that what they are up to this day. One of my neighbours stopped by the other day and said 'your mum's roses smell beautiful again this year and what a pity that we can't preserve the fragrance'...... that got me thinking, how is rosewater being made..... and then, why not make jelly from it. Browsing through all my cookbooks I came across some ideas on how to make jelly from almost anything - so I simply used the method that I use for my lemon verbena jelly and it worked a treat.

One problem you have to look out for when making jelly is the pectin content of the fruit/flower/herb you are using and rose petals don't have any pectin. So adding a high pectin fruit is essential as well as using jam sugar rather than granulated or caster sugar. Some recipes will tell you to use granulated sugar - it won't set unless you add pectin to it. You can buy pectin in liquid form but also in powder form. It is not widely available (at least not in Cork) - the Organic Shop in the English Market has the powdered pectin while I got the liquid pectin from the Quay Coop shop in Cork.

When using extra pectin, follow the instructions. Some have to be added before the sugar while others are being added towards the end of the process. I am giving you here the powdered pectin version.

The result is simply beautiful - adding the lemon juice will intensify the colour and if using dark pink roses, the colour will be beautiful. A word about the roses - don't by the supermarket flowers, they are to 99% treated and can be nasty. If you have roses in your garden and you haven't sprayed them, use these. Otherwise ask your rose growing friends for some petals. Also, make sure that they are very fragrant - if they are not, the jelly will just be sweet and no flavour whatsoever will develop. I have made rosewater beforehand and used a few drops towards the end but if you don't have any, don't worry, the flavour will still be wonderful. Freshly baked scones go best with this jelly.

The recipe below makes about 1 jar of 250g

Rose Petal Jelly

  • 6-8 heads of roses
  • 300ml boiling water
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 pack of powdered pectin
  • 300-400g jam sugar

Remove the petals from the heads, snipping of the white/yellowish part of the petals. Place them in a bowl and pour the boiling water over and leave to stand for 30 mins. 

Strain the liquid through a sieve, pressing the petals to get as much of the oil out as possible. You still should have about 300ml. Pour the liquid into a pan and add the lemon juice. Bring to the boil and sprinkle over the powdered pectin. Stir until dissolved. Add the jam sugar and stir until also dissolved. Bring back to the boil and boil rapidly for 1-2 mins. If using rosewater, add it now. 

Pour into sterilised jars and seal. 

Mr T called this elkelicious :-)

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