Tag Archives: Rose

They Called me the Wild Rose

Wild Rose Jelly

…But my Name was Eliza Dane

I’ve been back collecting rose petals again. As I mentioned in my post about rose cordial, the roses in my favourite spot are probably rosa acicularis. These are quite a long flowering variety, and you don’t need that many for this recipe, so you can still find them now if you try. Don’t forget to leave the bees behind when you pick them, though.

This time I made a really delicately flavoured jelly. My version definitely has all the flavour of rose, but has quite a subtle colour. If you would like a darker coloured jelly, then you can boil the petals up in the water before you add the apples, but I personally don’t think it needs it.

I have never made rose petal jelly before, but once you have the proportions in your head, making jelly is easy. You will need a jelly bag, or muslin and a sieve to strain the liquid. I have a thick piece of muslin that I nail to the frame of a chair with the seat removed, and that works well for me. Whatever method you use, it needs to support a bit of weight.

This makes 3 standard pots of jam, but I actually used smaller jars, as it was a lovely one to give away as gifts. I was also thinking ahead to possible foodie penpals. When I sent my first parcel out, I found to my penpal’s cost that sending jars mean that I can send much less, due to weight limitations. A nice work around is to try to send small jars as testers. I will see if that works.

This jam is a good breakfast preserve, and nice with yoghurt. However, I actually think this has more potential as a glaze for patisserie. I am going to try making a raspberry tart, and use rose petal jam as the glaze, where you would probably ordinarily use apricot jam. Of course, I shall let you know the results when I try it.

Wild Rose petals

Pretty In Pink

Recipe: Rose Petal Jelly

Ingredients

15 g rose petals

500 g apples

400 ml water

Granulated sugar – the exact amount will depend on how much liquid you have

Method

Rinse the rose petals, and remove the claw.

Cut the apples into chunks. There is no need to peel or core them, as this contains pectin, which you need to help the jam set.

Place the apples, petals and water in a pan, and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for half an hour. At the same time, boil your muslin to sterilise it.

Strain the fruit pulp through your muslin/jelly bag/ whatever set up you use into a large bowl. Leave  it to strain overnight, so you get the maximum amount of juice from your pulp. Don’t be tempted to squeeze the bag, or push the pulp through though, or your beautiful clear jelly will be cloudy.

I usually make fruit butter with the leftovers from jelly making. It is a tasty preserve, but it does have a short shelf life. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to make it or to find homes for the pots where it would not go to waste. As there has been no sugar added, you can still compost the pulp with no adverse effects.

Before you start to make the jelly, sterilise some jars. You can do this in various ways, including washing them in hot water, rinsing well, and putting them in a warm oven; you can steam them in a pressure cooker; or wash them in a dishwasher, being careful to time your cycle with about the right time that the jam is ready. At the same time, boil your muslin to sterilise it.

Measure your juice that was strained from the pulp. This is where the proportions come into play. For every 600 ml of juice that you have, you need 400 g sugar.

In your preserving pan, gently warm the juice and the sugar, stirring while the sugar dissolves. Then bring to a rapid rolling boil. Allow to boil like this for about 10 minutes. Your jelly will have reached setting point at 104.5 °C, or when you get a skin forming on jam dropped on a cold plate and left in the cold  for a minute.

Pour into the sterile jars while both are still hot. Fill to within 3 mm of the top, then put a wax disc over it, wax side down. Seal with a screw lid, or a cellophane cover.

Label them and give them a week for the flavour to develop. Once you have opened a jar, keep it in the fridge.

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A Whole Lot of Rosie

Wild rose petal cordial

Entente Cordiale

At the same time as we collected all the elderflower, we were also delighted to find some wild roses. The most common of these is the dog rose, but they have mostly gone over in the more accessible places. I did manage to get a photo, but couldn’t reach the  blooms, as they were on a steep slope, and behind a lot of brambles.

Wild Dog Rose

Dog Rose

Luckily, we also came across a load of what I think is most likely to be prickly rose, or rosa acicularis. This is a really beautiful rose, with abundant, dark pink flowers. They also have a lot of thin thorns on them. I was so excited to find them that I forgot to take pictures, but I’ll try to go back soon to get some. When the sunshine comes back. If the sunshine comes back.

The good news is that all rose petals are edible. The more highly scented, the better they will taste. As well as some basic foraging rules please be careful that the roses that you use have not been sprayed with any pesticides, which can be an issue if you are foraging in a park. Another word of caution; if you are allergic to bee stings, like I am, please check each flower before you pick the petals. Bees love roses, and will spend a lot of time feeding from each one. I very nearly picked one up with some petals, but it warned me by buzzing angrily, and I quickly dropped the petals. Bees are quite polite really, and will warn you before they sting.

You could dry the petals, and use them in cakes and jelly, or even brush them in egg white and dip them in caster sugar to crystallise them and then use them as a cake decoration.

Rose petals with & without claw

The white claw (L) is bitter and must be removed

When you use rose petals, you need to remove the claw, or the part where by which the petal is joined t the rest of the flower. This is bitter and can taint your produce. I usually just snip them off with scissors.

The first thing that I made was a cordial. This recipe is inspired by one that Sandie made at Herb and Wild Food Recipes. Sandie intended to make a jam, but actually made a syrup with dog roses. I used the same technique to prepare the roses, and then made a cordial as I would normally. This is a great blog, full of wild food recipes, so please do go and have a look.

It has also taken on the dark pink of the rose. I have had it as a refreshing drink, but I’m also going to try this in a syllabub, and maybe to cook some gooseberries in. If you have any suggestions for ways to try this cordial, I’d love to hear them in the comments.

Recipe: Rose Cordial

Ingredients

2 large handfuls of rose petals (claws removed as above)

Juice of a lemon

500 ml water

300 g sugar

Method

Sterilise a 500 ml bottle and the lid. You can do this in a number of ways. I find it trickier to get bottles clean in the dishwasher, as I would do for jam jars. You can wash them in hot soapy water, using a bottle brush to get into the nooks and crannies. I give them a good soak in the steriliser I use for brewing before I rinse, and put in them in a w arm oven (150°C). If you have a pressure cooker, you can also hold it in steam.

In a saucepan, add the lemon juice to the flower petals and the water. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Strain through muslin, and return the liquid to the saucepan. As you would expect, I didn’t throw out the rose petals. I have a great recipe for them to come. You can refrigerate or freeze them, if you want to use them later.

Add the sugar to the rose-water, and heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Allow to simmer for five minutes, then hot-fill the sterile bottle.

Keep this little jewel in the fridge.

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