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How to: make rose petal jam

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Life’s good when we stop to smell the roses; and even better when we stop to eat them! 

Scones fresh from the oven, spread with fragrant rose petal jam and cream, and shared with friends in the garden: what could be finer! 

The best rose petal jam is made from the most fragrant roses. Of course, use roses that you know have never been sprayed with chemicals, and pick them early in the morning to capture the strongest fragrance. For the sweetest jam, snip of the white base of the petals with a pair of kitchen scissors as this can add a bitter note to the jam. There are lots of ways of making rose petal jam – the simplest is simply to grind rose petals and sugar to a paste using a mortar and pestle. This method is a bit more complex than that but results in a lovely jam the colour of the roses. It doesn’t make a large amount so there is no need to sterilise jars. It should be stored in the fridge and used in the next week or so, which will be no problem at all!

What you need

4 cups of rose petals, washed and trimmed

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of water

Juice of 1 lemon


What to do

Toss the rose petals with half a cup of sugar. Leave them in a covered bowl in the fridge overnight.

Bring the water, the remaining half-cup of sugar and the lemon juice slowly to the boil to dissolve the sugar. (Adding any pips from the lemon will help the jam set, but you’ll have to fish them out later.)

Add the rose petals and sugar and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Bring to the boil and boil hard for five minutes. Test the jam by dropping some onto a chilled plate. If when the plate is tipped the jam holds and doesn’t just run away, it is set. If not, boil for a bit longer. Don’t look for too hard a set, this is a loose jam.

Skim any scum from the surface before pouring into a jar or bowl.


Text: Robin Powell

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Author: Robin Powell