Rose Petal Jam

Victoria sponge with rose jam

I bought some rose jam from the Farmers Market in the village the other weekend and it went down a storm with our guests. They basically bought all they could find to take back to Canada with them and, as is usual here, once something is gone, it’s gone for a year. I really wanted some more and so I had to make some myself.

Ideally you use the most strongly scented roses you can find for jam. I used a combination of my own deep red roses and the small pale pink roses that grow wild here. The wild roses on their own produced a jam that was too pale so I added the red roses during the boiling. Definitely stick to roses that have been grown organically (i.e. neglected in the case of my roses!).


Half a pound of rose petals (no I didn’t weigh them I just got a carrier bag full and guessed)
1lb of sugar
2.5 pints of water
Juice of 2 lemons and as many pips as you can squeeze out of them, these have the pectin in them that sets the jam

Bug free rose petals

Cut the petals off the rose heads and wash well in running water to remove the bugs. Pause to have minor hysterics and a long shower having found large bug in your own hair. Scrutinise rose petals with extreme paranoia in case of stray bugs.

Now bruise the petals with your fingers and then toss them in sugar until each petal has a coating of sugar. Cover with clingfilm and put in the fridge overnight.

Simmer for 20 minutes and then boil for 5 minutes

Next day put two and half pints of cold water, the remaining sugar and the lemon juice and pips into a heavy bottomed pan and bring to the boil. Now add your rose petals and simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes bring the syrup back to a rapid boil and boil for five minutes.

At this stage test for setting using a cold saucer – drop some jam on it, let it cool a little and then push it to see if the surface wrinkles. If it wrinkles it’s ready, if it doesn’t boil it for a little longer.

Once the jam is at setting point fish out any lemon pips you can find and then decant the jam into warmed jars.

Rose petal jam

This jam is very sweet, it tastes like liquid Turkish Delight, and a little goes a long way. I’ve been using it in sponge cakes as well as for breakfast and it works well giving a fragrant addition to a plain sponge.