summer in a jar

The roses have flowered early this year and I nearly missed my chance to make Rose Petal Jam from my favourite roses. I only make three or four small pots each year because I’m the only one in the family who eats it, as it’s deemed too flowery for the menfolk. I don’t care. All the more for me.

rose petals for jam
If you don’t like the smell of roses, then I doubt you’ll like this jam. It is summer in a jar. A jam that tastes like the smell of roses; sweet and scented to spread on warm brioche for breakfast or spoon onto a freshly baked scone. Preferably eaten outside in the sunshine but just as welcome in the middle of winter.

The original recipe used sugar with added pectin, but last autumn in the midst of a glut of crab apples when I was using them for Spiced Crab Apples and Crab Apple, Tomato and Chilli Jelly, I followed Celia’s recipe to make my own apple pectin that has been stored away in the freezer. Duly thawed and added to the rose petals, it worked its magic and produced a beautifully soft set jam. Jam as it should be. Jam that very slowly slides off a scone, not a rubbery ball of jam perched unmoving on the top.

rose petal jam

If you have some scented roses, grab some before they finish flowering and preserve their smell for later.

Rose Petal Jam Recipe

  • 1 litre rose petals
  • 680 grammes granulated sugar
  • 260 ml water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • small pot of apple pectin

Take a pair of scissors to first cut off and discard the tough base from the rose petals and then snip the petals into strips over a bowl. Add 340 grammes of the sugar to the bowl, gently pound to break down the petals a bit , cover and leave for 4 to 24 hours, by which time the juices from the petals should have been drawn out.

Next, put the water, lemon juice, pectin and remaining sugar into a preserving pan, tip in your mushy  petal mixture and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.

When the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat up and boil until setting point is reached. A small batch like this in a large preserving pan should only take five or six minutes. Then pot into small jars.

The petals give the jam a bit of substance, a little something to chew on. Drop onto ice cream (think retro banana split) or dribble over raspberry pavlova. Eat by the teaspoonful when nobody’s looking.

25 thoughts on “summer in a jar

  1. Hey Anne, what a great idea. I had never thought about that before. Ah, the blogging world is so good for info! Thanks for sharing, I shall give it a go next NZ summer. 🙂

  2. Hi Anne, my roses are going like gangbusters right now, I would love to make this jam. So I am just using the petals right? and do I rinse them or carefully wipe them? Thanks, Cheri

  3. Ooh, maybe I can nick some roses from my Mum’s garden this summer and make some (my roses don’t get enough love and have only a couple of flowers at a time). Looks divine.

  4. i love a dash of rosewater added to cherries and berries when i’m stewing them for my breakfast – so i would love rose petal jam. and how extraordinarily pretty it is!
    are some varieties better than others? i’m trying to remember the name of a big dark red rose mum had once – mr lincoln? or double delight? does a heady perfume make for a better jam?

  5. What is gentle pounding exactly? I agree with you about the consistancy of the jam it should be like a nice ripe brie, bound and determined to escape you.

  6. Absolutely lovely Anne! I’ll have to start contemplating whose rose bushes I can raid come summer time… 😉

  7. I like the idea of it dribbled over raspberry pavlova. What a great combination of summer flavours – flowery and fruity. Crab apple pectin is something my grandmother used to do. I must try it.

  8. Hi Anne, I still haven’t got around to making your rose petal jam, maybe next summer. I really want to give it a try.

  9. This does sound like both summer and heaven in a jar. I’m always afraid of using things from my yard for fear of picking the wrong thing and poisoning someone. Does it matter what type of roses you use?

    1. I’m no expert but I use any old roses, just the more highly scented the better. My favourite is a rambler but I use bush ones too. I’ve tried wild roses but they don’t have so much scent. I wouldn’t use roses that had been sprayed with chemicals and so wouldn’t use a commercially grown rose, just because I wouldn’t know its history. Try it and have fun!

      1. Great advice, thank you. I have these rambling red roses that smell so wonderful but they’re not really cutting flowers so this could be a great use for the petals.

  10. I have made three jars of rose petal jam yesterday and I am loving it so much that I ventured out to the rose garden in the Botanics today to pick some more strongly scented varieties. The children dutifully distracted the gardener so I could get enough roses. I also found some divinely scented lime flower, which is now steeping in water for cordial. You have just so many great ideas to use unusual ingredients! Thank you.

  11. I love the look of this jam. We used to have neighbours with lots of rose bushes so I had heaps to use in rose petals sorbet. You had to leave it overnight and it turned into brown sludge but then in the morning when you added the liquid glucose it turned glorious pink. I just wish I could get my hands on organic roses again!

  12. Oh wow, this is a stunning looking recipe!! Rose Jam….how have I gotten to 30-something without having ever had this?? I’m so glad I happened across your blog and saw this!!

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