Rose petal jam

September 22, 2009 § 1 Comment

Roses are red, violets are blue, one’s great for eating – perhaps the other one is too? Well, I don’t know about violets but roses are definitely a useful ingredient to have in the kitchen whenever you want to bring a Middle Eastern vibe to your cooking. Turkey especially use rose as an essential ingredient in many of their dishes, including the notorious Turkish Delight. My mother usually brings in the roses from our garden and dries them so that she can grind up the petals to make rose powder… it’s really flexible in its use! I even use a pinch of rose powder in tomato-based pasta sauces sometimes, and it imparts a really unique flavour which you can’t entirely pinpoint but accentuates the taste of the sauce on the whole.

This time I used rose petals for making jam. I’ve been wanting to try this recipe out for a long time, hopefully with scones, but as Navratri has started (Hindu religious festival) I’m not allowed to eat meat or egg, so baking scones is out for now. Jams, in my experience, are a wholly fruit affair and I’d never even experienced non-fruit jams until I went to the Taste Food Festival in Regents Park this summer with my best friend. I tried rosehip jam with flatbreads (and some gorgeous Greve cheese) and absolutely loved the taste, moreso than usual jam. Okay, rosehips are sort of fruit, but they’re not the kind that you pick off the bush and pop in your mouth (I hope?). So I finally decided to try out the recipe to make rose jam, and while it’s not perfect, it’s a good first attempt.

Rose petals

If you remember the chocolate truffles recipe a few days ago, I used a couple of the rose petals I picked for this recipe in that one. To make the jam I used:

  • 50g rose petals (red or pink, strongly scented petals from roses that have not been treated with pesticides) – 2tsp powdered rose (optional)
  • 400g caster sugar (jam sugar would have probably been better!)
  • 200ml boiling water
  • 6tbsp lemon juice

It may seem like a lot of sugar, and the end result is rather sweet, but you can always try and use less if it suits to you. Start off by washing and draining the rose petals, then trimming off the white parts of each petal using scissors. This eliminates any bitterness in the jam. After putting the rose petals into a large bowl you put 100g of sugar in with the petals and mix it in, bruising the petals thoroughly. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in the refridgerator overnight.

Rose-sugar mixture

The next day, put the 200ml water and 300g sugar together in a heavy based saucepan and boil through until you form a syrup that begins to coat the sides of the pan.

Sugar syrup

At this point you want to add the rose petal-sugar mixture to the sugar syrup you’ve just made, and also 6tbsp lemon juice so that the rose petals retain their colour and so an essential ingredient – citric acid – is also introduced (you could replace the lemon juice with 1tsp of citric acid, but I think the lemon juice gives it a nice flavour too).

Adding rose-sugar mix

Lower the heat and simmer the contents for at least 10-15 minutes, until setting point is reached. You can test for this by dropping a little of the jam onto a cold saucer and poking it with your finger to see if it wrinkles (be careful doing this though, the jam gets VERY hot… let it cool a little). I made the mistake of cooking it for a bit too long so it lost some of its colour and the gelling consistency was a little off, but as long as you don’t stray beyond 20 minutes, you won’t make the same mistake. I also added 2tsp of powdered rose while simmering, but this is entirely optional.

Setting point

You should then pour it straight into a sterilised jar – I found that the jam fills a 230ml jar perfectly. Let it cool down before you store it in the fridge. And there you go! A different kind of jam that you could eat with scones, have with ice cream, put into a sponge cake, or just have it spread on toast.

Rose jam

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