Feasting at Home : Rose Petal Jam

June 27, 2014

Rose Petal Jam

There is nothing that heals the soul quite like salt water, time spent in the company of friends and Rose Petal Jam. Last week we spent a few glorious days on beautiful San Juan Island with dear friends Tonia Schemmel, her husband Mike and their two kids Zalee and Fin. Some of you know Tonia from our Mizuna days together. While we were visiting, Tonia showed me how to make her Rose Petal Jam, made from wild rose petals she collects right there on the island.

Let me just start by saying, this is no ordinary jam. In the past,  Tonia has giving me little precious jars which I savor and stretch out as long as possible, because to me, each spoonful feels like it casts a magical spell over me, filling me with love for the world around me. I kid you not, there are days that have been completely transformed, because of the miraculous effects of this jam.

Looking closely at the wild rose petals, you will notice something quite incredible.
Is this coincidence?
Each petal, surprisingly, is shaped like a heart.

Their intoxicating scent melts away all tension.

Collect petals from wild roses -or roses you know to be untreated with pesticides.

Sift and sort through the rose petals carefully, for creatures may make their homes there.

Once sorted they are ready to bring into the kitchen.

I always love being in Tonia's kitchen - filled to the brim with all kinds of herbs, healing tonics and tinctures.  Where ever she is, she seems to find the beautiful essence of what surrounds her, and creates from this place. You can't help but the get the feeling she is deeply connected with the earth and its cycles, her creative healing energy flowing outward and freely.

She began foraging, long before it was trendy, making all sorts of tonics and elixirs.

Living on San Juan Island gives her access to the fragrant wild roses that bloom all over the island in May and June, and the making of wild rose petal jam has become a yearly ritual.

The recipe is surprisingly simple, and  highlights the lovely rose flavor.
For this recipe, you'll need to collect about two cups of rose petals, just lightly packed. Tonia describes this as pressing down on the petals just enough to make a perfectly comfortable fairy bed. If I were a fairy, I would be happy sleeping here.

Or, for more accuracy, weigh out two ounces of fresh petals.
You can also use dry petals ( see recipe)  but fresh are preferable.

In a medium pot, bring the petals and water to a simmer.

The rose petals will fade a bit, but this is just temporary.

Add sugar.

And fresh squeezed lemon juice.

And watch the lovely transformation happen!
The faded roses, burst with color, once the lemon juice is stirred in.

Mix a little pectin with sugar and add to the simmering petals, to thicken.

Simmer 20 more minutes.

Place the jam in jars and refrigerate --or use heated sterilized jars, canning for longer shelf life.

Spread on buttered and  toasted homemade bread - it makes for a delicious breakfast or afternoon snack.

Or spoon it right out of the jar, like Fin.

For a simple refreshing summery dessert, top good quality vanilla bean ice-cream with a few dollops. 

Sprinkle with rose petals and add fresh berries if you like.

And enjoy the effects.
I'm looking forward to featuring more of Tonia's recipes here soon…..

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Rose Petal Jam Recipe
Tonia's Wild Rose Petal Jam, made from wild roses on San Juan Island
1 ½ C filtered water
2 oz (approx. 2 cups lightly packed or to what would be a perfectly comfy fairy bed) wild rose petals (preferably collected 50 feet from roads and in a pesticide free area)
2 C organic cane sugar
3 T fresh lemon juice
1 tsp Pomonas fruit pectin**

Place water and roses in a sauce pan. Bring to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes. Add 1 ¾ c of sugar into the simmering petals . Stir to dissolve the sugar crystals. Add 3 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice. Pay attention to the gorgeous vibrant color that emerges. Simmer 10 minutes. Mix the remaining ¼ c sugar and pectin in a bowl. While stirring the jam add the pectin mixture sprinkle by sprinkle to insure pectin incorporates without clumping. Continue to simmer for 20 minutes. It may seem quite loose for jam, it will firm up as it sets but does remain more of a silky syrup with luscious bits of petals. Keeps for 2 months in the fridge, also freezes beautifully and canning is always a brilliant option.

Though I have not tried dried roses yet… it has been done. 1/3 c dried = 1 c fresh

**readily available in natural food stores
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 3 jars


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  2. Wow. This is GORGEOUS. I can't wait to try it. My parents have a beautiful pink rose bush that's very fragrant... I'm thinking those would make a nice jam? Do you know by any chance if there are some rose bushes that are ok to eat, and others that aren't? Or are they all ok as long as they haven't been treated with pesticides?

    1. Yes, ok to use, as long as no pesticides. :)

    2. Any roses are fine as long as no pesticides, fragrant ones are those that will flavor the jelly, and the more red in the petals, the darker the jelly.

  3. This whole post made me smile. Everything is beautiful from Tonia, her kitchen, the roses to Fin. You have captured a "putting food by" moment that so many people no longer do. Instead of stopping to smell ( and gather ) the roses we rush to the nearest store to grab a jar of jam.

  4. Your photos are so lovely!! And that jam is beautiful :)

  5. This is absolutely gorgeooous! We have beautiful little wild roses all over here where I live in Alaska. They just tickle my heart! :)

  6. Dear... I love , love , love your blog ;)

  7. I posted a little bit about the health benefits of roses and a friend mentioned he l o v e d rose jam. I was intrigued and 'googled' it. I found YOU!!!! I am over-the-top excited that I did! Your work(?) is beautiful. Thanks for sharing and bringing all this goodness to light! I'm off to pick my rose petals and order more Weck jars!!! Aren't they lovely as gifts???