Baby tomatoes

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Canning Cookbook- Rose Petal Jelly

One of the very first things I ever canned was jelly. Lots of jelly. When I moved to The Little Lake House the very first spring I made my very first flower jelly- dandelion. That was the beginning of a very rapid ascent into flowery jellies.

Dandelion jelly. It looked and tasted just like honey. It
was delicious on toast and made a lovely glaze for meat.
Violet jelly came next. With a partially wooded property and loads of wild violets every spring, of course I'd pick box fulls of every little kid's favorite flower to pick a fistful for mom. I'd spend hours separating the petals from the stems. I'd steep the petals in water until the water was a lovely violet, or yellow, or pink color- depending on the flower. Boiling, straining, hanging jelly bags from cabinet handles. Fun times. 

Beautiful jars of violet jelly made by my friend Janet Ferson.
The color is absolutely stunning.
Wild flowers were one thing, but there was one beautiful flower, which is often used in cooking, that was not growing in my garden....... but I knew I could get my hands on...... roses! Pastry chefs and bakers often use rosewater in making pastries and candies. Rosewater is the main flavoring in that delicious candy Turkish Delight that I fell in love with in England years ago. Surely some lovely rose petals would make a beautiful jelly. Of course they do!

Roses from Stuart Flowers and Gifts
Where you get your rose petals is very important. If you don't grow them yourself, seek out a friend who has rose bushes but isn't obsessed with keeping them flawless. You want pesticide and chemical-free roses. Sometimes a florist is your only option- just ask and make sure the roses aren't preserved with chemicals. Many florists these days DO keep edible flowers in stock. Maybe you're super lucky and have a gourmet food shop that sells food-grade roses, and if you do I am super jealous!

Color is also very important. Obviously, all roses with have the same delicate floral fragrance and flavor but deeper colored roses will make the prettiest jelly. Lighter colors, like lavender and pink roses, will have a hint of color or look like honey in the jar. I love a coral color so I try to get red and orange roses. Super dark pink roses, like fuschia, also make incredibly gorgeous jellies.

Rose Petal Jelly

4 cups fresh rose petals
3 cups water
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
1 package powdered pectin
2 cups sugar

Place the rose petals into a deep saucepan, slightly crushing them. Add the water. Bring this to a boil and boil for about 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to steep several hours or until cool. I often tuck the pot in the fridge overnight and finish the jelly the next day, for the most intense infusion.

Strain liquid into deep stockpot and discard the petals. Add the lemon juice and pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil over high heat. Add the entire amount of sugar. Return mixture to boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Boil one minute.

Remove from heat and ladle into jelly jars. Place lids on and allow to cool. STORE IN THE FRIDGE. This is NOT a shelf stable canning recipe!

REMEMBER- make sure you know where the flower petals are from, regardless of what type of flower you are using. Don't use dandelions or other wild flowers from public areas, where they may have been sprayed, and ALWAYS make sure the flower is edible!! 

Rose petal jelly makes a lovely gift and you can use super cute jars to store it in.I always save cute little glass jars to reuse with things that won't be processed in a canner. If you plan on giving the jelly as a gift just let the recipient know it must be in the fridge.

BIG THANKS to my friends Janet Ferson and the gals at Stuart Flowers and Gifts for generously sharing pictures.