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Celebrating June With Rose Petal Jam

It’s June in the Netherlands and, here in The Hague, wild roses are everywhere if you know where to look. We’ve seen them in playgrounds, in gardens and (by the millions) in the sand dunes along the beach.

Wild roses can be found in playgrounds, gardens and in the dunes along the beach (image by Andrew Curtis, CC BY-SA).

Wild roses can be found in playgrounds, gardens and in the dunes along the beach (image by Andrew Curtis, CC BY-SA).

For keen home cooks, these roses aren’t merely pretty to look at. They’re edible! Just make sure to pick your roses from an area where they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides or exposed to roadside fumes.

Our first experiment was with rose petal jam. Imagine: rose petals preserved in a silky, translucent pink syrup.

You can spread the jam on toast, drizzle it over ice cream or into yogurt. You can also just admire it. Rarely have I seen something more gorgeous come out of my kitchen.

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Rarely have I made something so beautiful as rose petal jam.

Best of all, it was so easy to make. And free! Who needs expensive fruit from the supermarket for jam when rose petals are there for the picking? We took our inspiration from this recipe for rose petal jam from a Venetian monastery. And if you need more ideas, here are 12 ways to use rose petals in cooking.

Rose Petal Jam

Ingredients

  • 60g rose petals
  • 180g jam sugar
  • 180ml water
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

Instructions

  1. Put a saucer in your freezer before you begin so you can do the 'freezer test' later to see if your jam has set.
  2. Carefully rinse the rose petals in cold water to get rid of any dirt and bugs and then drain them.
  3. Place them in a pot with the sugar. Massage the petals together with the sugar until they break down a bit but not totally. You want to retain some of the texture of the petals in the jam.
  4. Add the water and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer.
  5. Let cook for up to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. When you think the jam has reached the setting point, do the freezer test. Take the saucer out of the freezer, spoon a bit of jam onto it and return it to the freezer for 2-3 minutes. If the jam wrinkles when you push your finger up against it, it's done.
  7. Pour into clean, sterilised jars and enjoy. It will keep for up to 2 months in the fridge, or you can freeze it.
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