Wednesday, October 8, 2008

When Your Roses Fade...

and look like this...

it's time to pull off the petals and place them in a paper bag or a shallow pan, like this...

and cover like this...

Stir them every day so they dry evenly, and in a week or so you will have lovely rose petals to strew in your bath, add to potpourri, make sachets, etc.

Of course, you could just use the petals to make Rose Petal Jam. This recipe, I think, came from an old Sure-Jell package insert--back in my younger days (I've been waiting for a chance to say that!) Sure-Jell had lots of different recipes in the package, like mint jelly, pepper jelly, etc.

A blog friend reminded me (see comments below) that only your own homegrown chemical-free roses should be used to make jam or any other consumable rose product. Store-bought roses are often imported and are not intended for human consumption; they could contain harmful levels of chemicals.

Here's the recipe as I wrote it down:

1 quart of rose petals (the more fragrant the better)
3 cups water
1 package Sure-Jell pectin
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Red food coloring (optional, and I'd skip it, although you won't have as pretty a color. Consider adding a dollop of beet juice or cranberry juice to give the desired color without too much additional flavor)
4 cups sugar

Clean your rose petals (you can rinse them and use a salad spinner to do this) and chop fine. Mix the petals and water and heat to boiling. Steep for 20 minutes, pushing petals into the liquid occasionally.

Strain, reserving liquid, and save the petals (unless you want to make jelly instead of jam).

Measure the resulting liquid, and add water to make 3 cups.

Mix liquid with Sure-Jell, lemon juice, and coloring. In a large kettle, bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Add sugar all at once and bring to a hard, rolling boil; boil for exactly one minute.

Immediately remove the kettle from the heat and stir in the reserved rose petals. Stir for five minutes to prevent the petals from floating. Pour into sterilized jars and seal. Process at today's recommended time and temperature.


Kathy said...

Rose Petal Jam - I have never heard of this. What does it taste like?

Janet said...

I don't know if I would want to try that or not. I think I'll stick to blackberries, grapes and pears. My son went to the Amish country in Ohio last week and he came back with a jar of dandelion jelly. I haven't tried it yet.

earth heart said...

This jelly recipe sounds wonderful. I think I may try it next year when my roses are in bloom again. No offense Granny Sue, but please be sure to play it safe and make it with homegrown roses or those you know are grown safely enough for consumption. Most commercial roses are imported and have dangerously high amounts of toxic herbicides and pesticides, some of which are banned from use in the U.S.

Granny Sue said...

Truly spoken, EarthHeart. And I should have said that. Storebought roses go into potpourri, rose jam is made with homegrown.

As for how it tastes, the flavor is very subtle, and if your roses are not highly fragrant, the lemon can overpower the delicate taste. It is delicious, but perhaps not for everyone. However, it took me a long time to try hot pepper jelly, and I love it now! Rose jam is best on light biscuits, I think. Although I've wondered about using it to make thumbprint cookies.

I'll revise the post to add your warning to the original recipe, EarthHeart. It's important.

Matthew Burns said...

My maw has a rosebush that is she grows specifically for the rosehips to make jelly out of. It's an old heirloom variety rosebush but I can't think of the name of it. I'll ask maw. I do know the rosehips taste good all by themselves, quite fruity with a hint of rose. I also like rosewater (used in Indian or Middle Eastern food) in my lassi, a yogurt drink made out of plain yogurt, milk, sugar and a tablespoon of rosewater. It is quite good.

Never had rosepetal jelly though. I've ate rose petals in salads, but thats as far as I've experimented with them.

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