The Ladies' Tea Guild

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Making rose jelly for tea.

image from Lisa's Garden Clipart.
I was recently given a bunch of organic roses from my friend's garden. Hers are old heirloom roses that are really fragrant, as well as beautiful, and I didn't want to waste them when the petals started to fall. I picked the petals, washed them, dried them, and then made some rose water with them. I used the infusion method (pack rose petals in a clean glass jar, cover with boiling water, let sit until water has taken all the color from the rose petals and the petals are white) to make some surprisingly red rose water, but it's not distilled so I need a better way of preserving it. I have some rose petal jam, but I don't know if I like the texture, so I'll be trying to make rose jelly with the rose water. This is the kind of jelly that you spread on toast, not molded gelatin-dessert jelly ... I think it will make an unusual and delicious tea-table item and if it works well with rose petals I think I'll pick some orange blossoms from our tree and try to make orange blossom jelly! Here's a recipe that I'm thinking of using:

"Rose jelly (or orange blossom jelly!)
Basic flower jelly recipe - can also be used for other herbs

2 cups flower infusion: steep 2+ cups moderately packed flowers in 2 cups boiling water at least 30 minutes
1/4 cup lemon juice (E. Toley says not to use bottled, but I do)
4 cups sugar
3 oz of liquid pectin (this will be 1/2 box of liquid Certo)

Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil you can't stir down. Add pectin and boil 2 minutes. Ladle into hot sterile jars. Seal in preferred manner.

Note (Bess Haile): I prefer the liquid certo to the powdered. It seems to jell better with flowers. Also, I find the extra minute of boiling helps to create a stiffer jelly, though 1 minute will create a clear jam-like texture. I always use the 4 oz canning jars because I can give away some of the jellies without running out of all my stock. Not everyone likes jelly from flowers. My own family HATES rose jelly which is one of my favorites. Also, note, rose petals have a bitter white bit where the petals join the flower. Cut these off. I do this by holding the flower, step up, and cutting around the flower, leaving all the bitter bits on the flower. I've used Rose, Honeysuckle, Lavender, and many herbs too. Rosemary makes a good jelly for a glaze on roast pork (and probably lamb). Lemon verbena and spearmint are great too!"
-- from (Bess Haile), on Henriette’s Herbal Homepage

I've made fruit jams and lemon curd, but not jelly. Has anyone made rose jelly before? Any tips to share?


Bernideen said...

I have put a link to you on my blog!

South Bay Ladies' Tea Guild said...

Thanks Bernideen! I'd love the link. I think I have a link to your blog ... Let me know if it's missing!

Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)