At the beginning of this summer, in early June, me and the kids visited my parents in Hungary. (Whilst poor Daddy caught up on pints and stag dos.) My dad has a fantastic garden, the children had a blast. He’s got lots and lots of roses, beautiful, sumptuous, soft pink, velvety red and bright yellow. I was marvelling the rose bushes in full bloom and I thought, that’s a shame really, all those pretty petals just end up in the compost, such a waste.
That’s how I came up with the idea of making a jam. I Googled a few recipes, but somehow I felt like I need some other component to make it a bit more exciting. I love the scent of the rose essence, but it’s really hard to create the equivalent for the taste buds. Not long ago, in Rome, I tasted rose ice cream, which was nice, but a little bit on the strange side for me to be honest, maybe it wasn’t sweet enough. But in a jam, well, that can work really well. I just wanted a little bit of extra kick, so I decided to add some orange.
The outcome was absolutely amazing, I was so proud of myself, that I actually made this phenomenal jam. Seriously, not boasting. I’m pretty sure I was just purely lucky and somehow things worked out well, as I’m definitely not THAT good cook!
Anyway, here’s the recipe and a few tips to start with. Let’s preserve all those beautiful petals from your garden!
- Pick petals when the roses are in full bloom, healthy looking without any brown edges or fading. Use deep colours and with a heavy scent.
- Most garden roses are edible. Make sure no pesticides were used on the plant.
- Use the petals right after picking them, so they won’t loose their colour and scent.
- Don’t forget to sterilise your jars before using them.
300g rose petals
1 orange peeled and juiced
Place the rose petals in a large bowl and sprinkle them with about half of the sugar. Mix them very well, almost like giving the petals a good massage. It’s for distributing the sugar well and evenly so they will soak up the sugar, and the sugar will soak up the fragranced oils of the rose petals. Cover and put it in the fridge for overnight.
Give the orange a good scrubbing down, juice it and peel it. Cut the peelings into very small and thin pieces. Pour the water and orange juice into a large pan. Add the remaining sugar and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Avoid boiling it. Place the the orange peels is into the pan first, then 10 minutes after add the rose petals. Keep stirring gently. Allow to simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Then raise the cooking heat and boil for 15 minutes until it thickens a bit. Do a drop test, if you’re happy with the consistency, your jam is ready. Immediately bottle it.