Preserving Know-how/ Summer

A Rosy Summertime!

Rose Petal Jelly

Recently I was treated to a stroll through my friend’s magnificent rose garden. She mentioned that her neighbor came over to harvest petals for jelly. I hadn’t really thought about the culinary uses of roses. I went home and took another look at my wild and domesticated rose bushes. I was struck by the fact that nature provides so much for us to eat and enjoy if we open our eyes to possibilities. As always, I went on a quest to learn more about roses and their uses in in cooking and preserving.

I recalled old fashioned rose water grandmothers spritzed into the air to freshen a room or on themselves as a rose perfume. I remembered candied rose petals used to decorate special cakes. But they are also used chopped in a floral butter, as a tea (tisane), infused in sugar for baking or to flavour honey. They are used in Middle Eastern dishes most notably in Turkish Delight! Rose petals and hips are typically thought of in sweet recipes, like jellies, puddings, panna cotta, syrups and so on, but they also play a role in savoury ones. For example, a tagine spice blend called ras el hanout combines rose petals with savoury spices like cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, and coriander. Rose petal water is sometimes added to Hyderbabadi Biriyani (Great Chefs of Britain). Sweet or savoury, the beautiful rose offers up some mighty delicious possibilities.

For the preserver, petals (or hips) can be dehydrated for teas or to flavour sugar, crystalized for decoration, infused for waters or syrups or transformed in a stunningly lovely jelly. Use fragrant bright coloured rose petals (wild or domesticated), picked in mid-morning, rinsed, and lightly dried with a tea (paper) towel. From the University of Alaska, here is the recipe for Jelly.

The rose petal jelly makes a wonderful gift. It is so beautiful and a reminder of warm, lush summer days. Try it on scones or biscuits, or with goat cheese.

It is indeed a rosy summer to behold!


Rose Petal Jelly

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  • 1 ¾ cups rose petal juice
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice (bottled)
  • 3.5 cups sugar
  • 3 oz liquid pectin (one pouch)



First extract rose juice: Pack cleaned petals tightly into a cup measuring 1.5 cups. Place in a saucepan and add 2 ¼ cups boiling water. Turn off heat, cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain through a cheesecloth lined sieve or jelly bag.


Measure 1 ¾ cups rose petal juice (freeze extra). Place the juice into a large saucepan and watch what happens when you add lemon juice! The extracted juice will be pale in colour but when the lemon juice is added, BAM!, the colour changes to a deep rosy hue. It’s dramatic and worth doing even once to see this phenomenon.


Add sugar and bring to a full rolling boil. Add in the pectin and bring back to a boil. Boil hard for 1 minute. Skim.


Ladle into 3-4 clean, hot Mason jars leaving a ¼ inch headspace. Clean jar rims and attach lids and rings to finger-tip tight. Process in a water-bath or steam canner for 10 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before removing jars.


The rose petal jelly makes a wonderful gift. It is so beautiful and a reminder of warm, lush summer days. Try it on scones or biscuits, or with goat cheese.

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