When we bought our house in Sonoma, one of the biggest attractions for us was the extensive gardens. The woman we bought the house from had cultivated her garden for 30 years with a proliferation of roses, columbine, Asian poppies, iris....you name it we have it. She also had a water thrifty drip irrigation system. We furthered that by hooking up the rain machine which runs our watering system via wifi connected to NOAA. The less water use the better. We took out the lawns in front and xeriscaped with drought tolerant plants. In the back yard we removed all lawn and put in 7 large raised growing beds and several fruit trees which allowed us to get a large amount of what we eat straight from home. This year thanks to El Nino and all the rain we've had here in Sonoma, our garden is bursting at the seams.
Our roses are exploding with color and scent which is a big part of the recipe.
You need to get your mitts on some strongly scented red roses or dark pink roses, so sniff around and see what you've got. We use only organic and natural products in our gardens, and the reason that that is important to this recipe is that organically grown roses are necessary for this jam. So if you don't have any organic roses in your garden, find a friend who does and share this around. It's probably the easiest jam or jelly I've ever made and I've been canning for about 25 plus years. In fact this might be a great fun family project for little hands, as long as big hands are running the stove.
Rose Petal Jam
Here's What You Need:8 cups of organic heavily scented red or deep pink rose petals, loosely packed. We're talking about 8 or 10 roses.
3 cups white caster (bakers) sugar
The juice of 1 lemon
2 and 1/2 cups of water
5 clean and sterilized small jelly sized canning jars
Here's What To Do:
Make sure your rose petals are clean, so gently rinse them with some water and let them dry.
Pull the petals off the roses and put them into a large bowl with 1 cup of the sugar and the lemon juice.
Here's the fun part. Massage those rose petals. You don't want to shred or tear them just mush them around in the sugar and lemon juice.
When that is done, place the other 2 cups of sugar into a sauce pan containing the water.
Mix this together well and then heat it on a medium flame.
Once the sugar has all dissolved into the water add your rose petals.
Bring the mixture to a boil. Stir it every now and then so nothing sticks or burns.
Let it boil until the rose petals have all sunk to the bottom of the pan and the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
This should take about 30 minutes more or less. The jam is going to be syrupy rather than totally jammy as fruit jam is, with lovely bits of rose petal in it.
Fill the clean hot jars with the hot jam.
Place lids on them.
Now, you can take your jelly and after it cools a bit, store it in the fridge...or process the sealed jars in a boiling water, canning bath as you would jam or jelly and store them in your pantry.
This stuff is great on Shrikhand, or yogurt, or ice cream, or any bread, or whatever. If you store it in the fridge and it is too firm just take the lid off and pop the open jar in the microwave for about 10 or 20 seconds to loosen it up, or in a shallow pan filled with warm water. Fragrant with jewel colors, this makes any brunch, breakfast, or dessert extra special. Coming up next some great seasonal Indian vegetarian dishes follow along on Twitter @kathygori
To finish, I leave you with a bit of rose porn.