To make this beautiful jam, you’ll need unsprayed roses with a strong fragrance: petals without much scent will give you a bland, tasteless jam. To serve, spread on toast, muffins, scones, crepes and such; spread between layers and on top of delicate cakes; use as a filling for jelly doughnuts; or stir into yogurt or puddings.
- 1/4 to ½ pound fresh red strongly-scented rose petals that have never been sprayed
- 4 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon citric acid
Wash the petals and drain them well. Using scissors, trim off the bitter white base of the petals.
Put the petals in a large bowl. Add 1 cup sugar and rub it into the petals until they are thoroughly bruised. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for several hours or overnight.
Prepare a sugar syrup: combine 4 cups water and the remaining 3 ½ cups sugar in a large pot. Bring to a boil, and cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring often. Stir the bruised rose petals and sugar mixture into the pot of sugar syrup and cook for 30 minutes more. Stir frequently, pressing against the petals now and then to extract as much flavor as possible.
When the syrup turns clear, stir in the citric acid. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes, or until jam is thick and syrupy. You can test for readiness by spooning a bit of hot jam onto a cold saucer. It should set up. If it doesn’t, continue cooking.
Pour the jam into prepared jars.