Monday, 23 May 2011

Rose Petal Jelly

I love roses, especially ones that have a really good scent. My favorite roses are the David Austin ones that we have bought over the years at RHS shows. I love going to these shows, my favorite is always Hampton court. It's chelsea week this week but I will only be watching it on the TV, we have been before but it is expensive and always very crowded, but I always feel sad that I'm not there when I watch it.

Anyway back to the roses, as I said I love heavily scented roses and I thought it would be lovely if I could make some rose petal jelly. I had read that the more fragrant the rose the better, so my David Austin roses were perfect for the job.

I picked some flowers that were fully open, stripped all the petals off and gave them a good wash, I don't use any sprays which makes them safe to eat but may mean there is the occasional bug.

There was quite alot of petals so I put them in two jars and filled them with boiling water.

The effect was quite amazing, all the colour from the petals immediately drained out into the water, turning it bright pink. I left this to steep for about an hour and the I sieved it to get rid of the, now off white, petals.

This left me with quite alot of rose water, I measured out a litre, added the juice of one lemon, a kilo of sugar and a packet of pectin. I heated this mixture, stiring till the sugar had dissolved and then brought it to a rapid boil until it reached setting point.

I then put it into sterilised jars. You can't really see from the photos but it is the most amazing jewel like pink colour and is absolutely yummy. As you can see from the picture I had quite a bit of the flavoured water left so I made another batch and also tried it it a batch of soap, I had hoped it would retain some of the colour and maybe a litte of the scent. The colour turned to a beige as soon as I added the lye and I'm not sure about the scent I think I can detect a hint of rose, but will have to see what it's like once it's cured.

I now have a new favorite thing to have on my toast for breakfast. I have been looking for other things that I may be able to do with flowers from the garden. I've read that jelly made with dandelion flowers taste like honey, I'm always battling with dandelions in the garden, so I may try this next. Then I can say I'm growing them for culinary use, any excuse for doing less weeding!

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