A sampler of hardy roses and the absolute truth about them.
Rose Petal Jelly
• 2 quarts dark fragrant petals (rugosas are best), loosely packed
• 3 cups water
• 1 package pectin crystals
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 4 cups sugar
1. Pick petals on a sunny day when the dew has dried; gently pull them from fresh flowers that are fully opened.
2. Place the petals in a saucepan, cover them with the water, cover the pot, and bring the mixture to the boiling point.
3. Remove the lid and, over the next 15 minutes, occasionally bruise the petals gently with the bottom of a glass.
4. Strain the petals, reserving the liquid and discarding the blanched petals.
5. Into a wide-mouthed saucepan, measure out 3 cups of the strained liquid, adding water if necessary; stir in the pectin crystals and lemon juice and bring to a rolling boil that can’t be stirred down.
6. Stir in the sugar and return to a rolling boil; continue to stir and boil for 1 minute.
7. Remove the pot from heat and let the mixture settle.
8. Pour into sterilized, scalded jelly jars and seal at once.
9. This jelly tastes like roses smell and is delicious on bran muffins or whole-wheat toast with cream cheese.
Click here for the main article, To Know A Rose.
Adapted with permission from Gardens of Use and Delight (Fulcrum, 2002) by Jigs and Jo Ann Gardner.