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.