I was alerted by Sue H.M. in Facebook last night that she was bereft: "For the past few years, I've been googling 'rose petal jam Norma' to follow the link to the recipe you use (Because it's the best one. It yields superior results. I am superstitious.) but this year, recipegal has disappeared." And she was wondering whether I had the recipe written down.
Well, dang. For at least a couple years, I too would follow my own link to recipegal, but at some point I must have worried that recipegal would disappear. Of course, I absolutely did not remember doing this, but it JUST.SO.HAPPENED that yesterday I was looking for something in my clothes closet (a pair of cargo shorts that I usually wear gardening), and I ran across a little laminated copy of the Rose Petal Jam recipe. I still did not find the shorts, but there in my clothes closet (a most logical place, I'm sure you would agree) was the recipe that later in the day Sue would ask for.
This must be a sign from God, much like these signs from God. But I digress.
Back to the rose petal jam -- which also, I firmly believe, is a sign from God. Or the devil. One of these super-powerful guys.
This is a BANNER YEAR for my rosa rugosa, and shame on me, I have not yet made jam. I am trying to stay away from sugary things, but really, this is so special and seasonal a delicacy, I should just get over it and make some.
Here's the recipe. It is truly the best. Don't fall for anything that is called "rose petal jelly." It's not the same at all. That steeps rose petals in water to get the "essence" and then makes jelly that basically (in my opinion) has no flavor whatsoever.
This one uses the whole petals and fresh lemon juice and sugar, and makes a fridge or freezer jam. In other words, you have to keep it in the refrigerator or freezer for optimum deliciousness and keeping abilities. The only part of the jam that is cooked is the pectin, so it's raw-ish and oh, so deLISH.
Several people have asked me to describe the flavor. It is really hard to describe. It's floral, it's tangy, it's sweet. It is its own special, amazing flavor sensation. When you take a jar out of the freezer and eat some of it in the middle of winter, it is like summer on a spoon.
NOTES: This makes a small batch. I am working strictly on memory here, but I think I only get about five 4-ounce jars from one batch. It'll be interesting to see if I can make this successfully in the Vitamix, which is miles more powerful than the old Osterizer I had. Perhaps I should pull that old putt-putt out of the Goodwill box after all. Hm.. Another sign from God? I didn't bring it to the Goodwill yet.
The Best Damn
ROSE PETAL JAM
In All The Land
Magical, I tell you!
1 cup fresh rose petals (Can be any kind of roses*, but must not have been sprayed with any chemicals)
3/4 cup water X 2
Juice of one lemon
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 package of powdered pectin (e.g., Sure Jell)
Put rose petals, 3/4 c. water, and lemon juice in a blender jar. Puree until smooth. (Marvel at the color. It will knock your socks off.)
Slowly add sugar. Blend until all sugar has dissolved.
Pour this rose syrup mixture into a large bowl.
In a small saucepan, stir 1 package pectin into 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil, and boil HARD for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
Pour pectin mixture into syrup and stir it in gently but quickly. It sets up fast. Work fast to pour it into jars before it gets too thick and gloppy.
I'm not kidding about that. Work fast!
Put covers on the jars. Let set for 6 hours (says the original recipe -- I find it sets faster than that), till firm. Refrigerate for use up to one month; freeze for longer-term storage.
--This recipe was originally taken from a site called recipegal.com, which seems to no longer be in existence.
*Except white. If you use white (I have tried), you end up with a jar full of something that looks like it might be found at a urologist's or fertility specialist's office. It still tastes great, but the looks of it will kill you. Probably yellow roses should be added to that "do not use" list too. In fact, I will state right here: Stick with red or very deep pink. You'll be glad you did.