Monday, July 12, 2010

Rose Petal Jam

You read that correctly, rose pedal jam. A long time ago I had rose pedal ice cream and as I was working on an article on dandelions I thought what about roses? So the ever curious mind set off on another avenue and voila, I found a wonderful rose pedal jam recipe. Okay, mostly wonderful. Yes, I tweaked it a bit. Not too much but I tried several different things until I'm quite pleased with the results.Yup, this is what you have to do if your rose pedals have white at the base, clip it off.
The white lends a bitter taste to the jam. I found a recipe for ice cream that did not say to clip off the white base. I should have. It would have tasted better.As for the choice of roses, wild ones are preferred. Next, is fragrant ones. I of course looked around and laughed, wild ones, yeah, like I'm going to find any of those around here. In fact, I snitched the pedals above from our daughter's bush in Colorado when we were visiting. They were pretty fragrant. I had rose pedal ice cream years ago that a friend made out of curiosity. She used tea rose pedals. They are an options too I would suppose.
The yellow rose pedals are my neighbors from her bush.

I treasured them as, no snipping since there wasn't any white base but they were hardly wild ones either so I still don't know what difference in flavor that would make. I did like the double pedals since with just a few plucks I had lots for jam.
When I made the pink pedal jam, I squeezed a lime and a half and used that not because the recipe called for it but because that's what I had, limes not lemons. It was Sunday night, the fourth of July, and I didn't know how much longer the pedals would last after our trip. Yes, I had the pedals in a cooler but how do I know how long pedals last, my husband is such a romantic. LOL About the only flowers I get are the ones our middle grand daughter keeps picking out of my flower garden. No, don't pick doesn't compute with her when it comes to flowers.
When I first made the jam, I thought it would be just ho hum but it is citrusy with a hint of rose. It's something quite elegant and I could just imagine expect to be served the custard like mixture on top of a biscuit at a high falutent tea party with a bunch of ladies sitting around with their pinkies up in the air and frilly hats on their heads.
Since we liked the first batch, I had to make it again. This time with a large lemon to match the yellow pedals I'd gotten from the neighbor. It was great. I didn't have to cut the yellow base off since there wasn't any, boy was that as time saver.
As the picture eludes, you blend a cup and a half of sugar along with 3/4ths of a cup of water, the pedals, and citrus of your choice. Since I tried lime and lemon and loved them both, I'm wondering what an orange in the jam would taste like. I've a real hankering to make my own marmalade now. Always wanted to but now I think it has moved up the list of want too's to a have to this winter.
With all the photographing I've done of rose bushes and the success of the jam, I've a hankering to plant my own rose bushes ... but what color? I'll have to go around smelling the ones at the greenhouses to choose. We haven't many greenhouses and they are very seasonal so it might just have to wait until next year before that project gets started.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot to tell you, I cut the sugar way down since it was hard to get it to fully incorporate into the juice, water, and pedals. Don't skimp on blending time.
The next stage is a diversion from standard jam making. Put 3/4 cup water and a box of pectin on the stove in a saucepan and boil until just right. Oh bother, I'll have to go look it up. I didn't really time it when I did it. I just cooked until it looked right. I'm back -The recipe says boil hard one minute. It also said to gather the rose pedals in the morning as they are most fragrant then. I gathered mine when I had the opportunity. Three small grandkids will do that to you.
Pour the hot pectin into the blender while its on a low speed or you'll splatter your ceiling and loose your precious jam. The mixture will become thicker and thicker. Don't under beat or your jam will be sugary. I know your wondering how I know that, three batches of jam taught me that, too sweet at 2 cups of sugar, too sugary textured at too little mixing time, and just right.
The jam only makes three half pint size jars and that might seem expensive when you consider the cost of pectin but you don't have the cost of fruit to figure in, unless of course you are blessed to be able to raise your own or the country side is generous and then that's free. We aren't that lucky. The jam doesn't have a sealed lid so refrigerate. The recipe says up to one month or freeze. You can use this jam in making rose pedal ice cream and I know it's going to be better than the rose pedal ice cream I made after making the first batch of jam. It was a standard recipe and it was okay, like the kind I tasted years ago. This time though with the yummy jam, I think I can come up with a much richer flavored mixture.

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