Availing ourselves once again of British Waterways facilities, on Saturday night we moored at The Black Country Museum. This has become a regular last night stop for us whenever we’re crossing Birmingham and no visit is complete without a trip to Mad O’Rourke’s Pie Factory. This time, there was, of course, the added thrill for the Captain, of me skipping hither and thither gathering rose buds. Or rather, rose petals. Turns out that while the beauty of the Stratford Canal and its rural surrounds are good for the soul, we needed some good old Black Country urbanisation for Japanese roses. And sorry, Bill, when it comes to Rose Petal Jelly, it really does have to be Japanese roses. ‘A rose by any other name’ (R&J) just does not have the heady perfume necessary.
I was up with the larks on Sunday morning so having left the petals infusing overnight, got on with making the jelly before we set off. It is quite possibly the easiest jam recipe I have yet attempted and for that reason alone should be attempted. The results are joyous: a brilliant red, clear jelly tasting like Turkish Delight on toast.
Rose Petal Jelly
Makes 750ml approx
400ml Japanese Rose Petals (gently pressed down)
600g jam sugar (with added pectin)
Juice of a lemon (80ml approx)
Pour the water into a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Take off the heat and stir in the petals. Cover and leave overnight to infuse.
Next day, strain through a scalded jelly bag. Return to clean pan and place over a low heat. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve, then add the lemon juice and bring to a rolling boil. Boil rapidly for 4 mins, then remove from heat.
Allow the mixture a couple of minutes to calm down, then pour into hot sterilised jam jars, filling them to the brim before screwing on the lid.