Rose Petal Jam is sweet rose-scented heaven! I love floral flavours, particularly rose. They taste wonderful but there is also something romantic and exotic about edible flowers.
I love travelling and one of my favourite places to visit is Morocco. I have had many trips there over the years and have wonderful culinary and cultural memories! Morocco is known for its wonderful roses and rose petals and rose water are used in both sweet and savoury dishes. The province of Ouarzazate, south-east of Marrakesh, is the centre of rose production. Each year in early May in El Kelaa M’Gouna, a small town in the Moroccan “Valley of Roses” there is a Rose Festival to celebrate the annual harvest.
Making Rose Petal Jam reminds me of Moroccan breakfasts and exploring a different culture. However, it also makes me of my own home. I make it using roses from my garden in Gloucestershire and, sometimes, from wild roses that flower in June and July along my regular dog-walking routes.
What you need to know about Rose Petal Jam
What does it taste like? Well, the quick answer is that it tastes of eating roses! It is a sweet, semi-set jam. The petals are not generally removed, although you can do this if you wish, so it has a bit of texture to it too. The long answer is that it tastes of memories, exotic places and also of home (see above!).
How do I use it? It is pretty versatile. I’ve listed a few of the ways that I use it below to offer some inspiration!
First off, you can use it, as you would any jam, spread on bread and butter for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.
It is also great as an accompaniment to cheese. Use it as you would a chutney with hard mild cheese, such as Lancashire or Wensleydale. Drop a spoonful over soft cheese such as ricotta or a good cream cheese. Or drizzle it over fried haloumi.
It is also good stirred into plain Greek yogurt or with vanilla ice cream.
If you are making pancakes, a dollop of rose petal jam, and maybe a spoonful of whipped cream, will make them taste sublime.
It also is a good addition to many plain pudding recipes. Stir it into rice pudding, add it to bread and butter pudding or use a spoonful, together with some whipped cream, to sandwich a pair of meringues.
It is good as a filling for cakes, particularly Victoria-sandwich style cakes.
How do you make it?
It is really quick and easy to make Rose Petal Jam. It takes only 20 minutes and the list of ingredients is very short.
The time to make this jam is in the summer when the roses, in your garden or in the hedgerows, are in full bloom. Choose new open flowers – rose buds and older roses that are going brown are not as good. It is best to pick them on a sunny day as the flavour will be stronger. Choose fragrant varieties. The stronger the scent of the roses, the stronger the flavour of the resulting jam.
As with all edible flowers, you need to make sure that those that you are gathering have not been treated with any chemicals. Do not ever use roses from a florist as they are very likely to have been chemically treated.
There are two views regarding preparation of rose petals for culinary use.The first is that you should not wash the petals s as this will impact the flavour and you should just shake the flowers and pick through them to remove any insects. The second is that the blooms need to be washed to remove the bugs, and any dirt, regardless of any reduction in flavour. I tend towards the “no-wash” view when making this jam but the choice is yours.
It is vital to add pectin to this jam (step 5) as your jam will not set without it and it does not occur naturally in rose petals!
This jam will keep for around three months. Once you have opened the jar, you should keep it in the refrigerator.
I first came across Rose Ice Cream about ten years ago on a family holiday to Alnwick Castle Garden in Northumberland. The castle is famous for its wonderful, dramatic modern garden which includes a large area devoted to scented roses. When we visited, they were selling rose-flavoured ice-cream with a flavour based on the old-fashioned roses in the garden. I loved the ice-cream and, as soon as I got home, set about trying to make a home-made version. If you love gardens, I would recommend a visit to those at Alnwick Castle which also include a cascade of 120 water-jets, an area devoted to poisonous plants and an extraordinary tree-house which is the location for a very fancy restaurant.
Maybe because I first had Rose Ice Cream in Alnwick, I associate it with an English summer garden. There are a few recipes for Rose Ice Cream which have a more exotic twist, including pistachios or almonds, and having a 1001 Nights vibe, but this is definitely a traditional English version.
Edible flower recipes – rose, lavender and elderflower
You only need the egg yolks for this recipe which means you will have spare egg whites. As I hate waste, I pretty much always make Meringues when I make ice-cream as, very conveniently, my Meringue recipe requires four egg whites. If you are in a rose-loving mood, you could make Rose Meringues!
This Rose Ice Cream is a lovely summer recipe which combines the floral taste of rose with fresh cream.
4 egg yolks
85 g caster sugar
425 ml double cream
1 tablespoon of culinary rosewater
A few drops of red food colouring (optional)
Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl until the mixture looks paler and resembles a mousse.
Put the cream in a saucepan and heat gently. Do not allow to boil – it will be the right temperature when you are just about able to bear to dip a finger in it!
Pour the cream into the bowl containing the egg yolks and sugar, whisking all the time.
Transfer the combined mixture into a bowl set over a pan of simmering water or, ideally a double-boiler, as you need to reheat it very gently.
The mixture will gradually thicken until it looks like a custard (which is what it is). Stir regularly to make sure it does not stick while it is thickening.
Remove the thick custard from the heat and transfer into a bowl.
Add the rosewater to the custard. If you wish, stir in a few drops of red food colouring so that your ice cream will be pink. If you don’t do this, your ice-cream will be cream-coloured but will still taste the same!
Allow to cool to room temperature and then transfer to the fridge to become thoroughly chilled.
When you are ready to make the ice-cream, transfer to your ice-cream maker and use according to your machine’s instructions. If you do not have an ice-cream maker, you can place the mixture in a freezer-proof container, put in the freezer for several hours until half-frozen. Whisk the mixture and then return to the container and replace in the freezer until totally frozen.
You only need the egg yolks for this recipe which means you will have spare egg whites. As I hate waste, I pretty much always make Meringueswhen I make ice-cream as, very conveniently, myMeringuerecipe requires four egg whites.
Get in touch with your girly side with this pretty-in-pink Raspberry Pavlova. Sometimes, even the least girly of us (and I include myself in that description) feel a need to embrace pink. If you feel a girly mood coming on, this Raspberry Pavlova, with delicate pink rose-flavoured meringue could be the answer!
Raspberry and rose is a classic flavour combination. In this Pavlova, the meringue is flavoured with rosewater and topped with whipped cream and fresh raspberries. The slightly sharp flavour of the raspberries is an excellent contrast with the sweetly floral meringue.
Pavlova is my go-to dessert for celebrations of all kinds. It is very easy to make, can be prepared in advance, looks impressive and is not too heavy so is perfect as a summer dessert. If you like the recipe for this Raspberry Pavlova, you may also like my classic Pavlova , my Rose Meringues and my classic Meringues.
If you are making any of my meringue-based recipes, you might also check out my ice-cream recipes such as Lavender Ice-cream, Thyme Ice-cream with Honey and Mascarpone or Elderflower Ice-cream. You need four egg whites for this recipe which means you will have four spare egg yolks. As I hate waste, I pretty much always make some form of ice-cream when I make any type of meringue. Very conveniently, all my ice-cream recipes require four egg yolks.
I would not say that I am a particulary girly person. However, sometimes, the mood hits me to make something pretty and pink and Rose Meringues is my go-to recipe.
These lovely rose flavoured meringues are a delicate shell pink. They are crisp on the outside and gooey inside and I like to serve them sandwiched together with billowing whipped cream. I think Rose Meringues go particularly well with raspberries, which have a strong slightly tart flavour that complements their sugary floral taste. Dark pink raspberries also look pretty with the pale pink meringues. If you have a few rose petals to strew around on the plate, so much the better!
My meringue recipe needs four egg whites and my basic ice-cream recipe needs four egg yolks. Therefore, as I hate waste, when I make meringues I generally make ice-cream too. If you are making these meringues and want to make ice-cream too (and why not, frankly?), there are lots of lovely home-made ice-cream recipes that you could try such as Elderflower Ice-cream, Rhubarb Curd and Rose Ice-cream or Mango and Lime Ice-cream.
These pretty pink meringues are flavoured with rose and accompanied by fresh raspberries and whipped cream.
4 egg whites
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons rosewater
A little pink food colouring (optional)
225 g caster sugar
Set the oven to 140 C/275F or Gas Mark 1.
Cover two baking sheets with baking parchment. Spread a very thin film of flavourless oil, such as rapeseed oil, on the baking parchment (the best way is to rub it over the parchment with your fingers and then remove the excess with a piece of kitchen towel).
Whisk the egg whites with the salt until they form soft peaks.
Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar, 2 teaspoons of rosewater and a little food colouring (if using) to the egg whites and whisk again until very stiff and shiny.
Fold in the rest of the sugar.
Spoon the mixture onto the baking parchment. You can make your meringues small, medium or large depending on the size spoon you use – teaspoon, dessert spoon or tablespoon.
Place the baking tray in the oven and bake until they are hard on the outside but still gooey in the middle. This will take between an hour and an hour and a half.
I created this Rose and Strawberry Cream Cake for a family birthday. My brief was to produce a simple Victoria Sandwich cake with jam and cream with no “funny stuff” (why do my family always say this….?). I tried very hard to stick to the brief and started off with a classic strawberry-and-cream Victoria Sandwich cake but, inevitably, I got enthused by the possibilities of adding an element of rose (strawberry and rose – such a great combination!).
My efforts resulted in a lovely buttery Victoria sponge cake, sandwiched together with strawberry and rose-flavoured jam and billowing cream, and adorned by romantically-strewn rose petals. I was very proud until my daughter said to me “It’s not the most masculine of cakes, is it?” and I was struck by the realisation that perhaps my hearty, hill-walking husband might not be as enthusiastic about the rose petals as I was….. Luckily, he tends to focus on how things taste and was quite happy with his rather girly looking cake. (And as one of my sons, quite rightly, commented, “you need to break those gender stereotypes, mum…!”).
I made some Crystallised Rose Petals to decorate the cake because I think they are beautiful. They are very easy to make but you do need to make them the day before so that they have time to dry off. I also used my home-made Strawberry and Rose Geranium Jam in this cake but, if you don’t have the time or inclination to make this, you can flavour ordinary strawberry jam with .
Set your oven to 180 degrees centigrade or Gas Mark 4.
Cream the butter with the sugar. (I usually soften the butter for about 30 seconds in the microwave first as it makes it much easier!)
Gradually add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture. If it looks as if it is going to curdle, add some of the self-raising flour.
Once the eggs have been incorporated add the rest of the self-raising flour.
Add the milk, vanilla extract and rosewater.
Grease your Victoria Sandwich tins or containers and then add the cake mixture.
Bake your cakes in the oven for around 35 minutes. They are done when they are golden brown, springy to the touch and have shrunk away from the edge of the tin. You can test this by inserting a skewer in the middle of the cake – if it comes out cleanly with no mixture attached, your cake is done.
Allow your cakes to cool on a rack before removing them from the tins or containers.
Method: Filling and topping
Spread the rose-flavoured strawberry jam over the top of one of your cakes.
Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Spread it on top of the jam. Then place the other cake on top.
Put the icing sugar in a sieve and sift it over the top of the assembled cake.
In the (unlikely) event that there is any cake left over, this needs to be stored in the fridge due to the cream icing. It will keep for a couple of days but, like all sponge cakes, it tastes better when it is freshly made.
Keywords: rose and strawberry cake, victoria sandwich, cream