A month or so ago, when my roses were in full bloom, I plucked what seemed like an awful lot of petals and set them aside to dry. My intention was to make this beautiful recipe; the only problem was, I had no idea how many fresh petals I’d need to end up with the amount necessary to make the jelly.
When my petals were fully dry, I weighed them and found I only had .5 ounces. I was a little dismayed, until I realized I had a bag full of dried lemon balm from my garden that I’d stashed in my cupboard last summer. So I combined the two in this recipe, and the result was seriously spectacular. I only ended up with one cup of jelly- one incredibly intense cup of jelly- so I am doing my best to stretch it for as long as possible.
This jelly is best made with fragrant rose petals intended for culinary use; be sure they’ve never been sprayed with chemicals and that they are clean and free of insects. While I can’t speak to the medicinal quality of the finished jelly, it is worth noting that in herbal medicine, both rose petals and lemon balm are said to have calming properties.
Recipe for Rose Petal and Lemon Balm Jelly
Yield: 1- 1.5 cups
*.75 oz. dried lemon balm leaves
*.5 oz dried rose petals, clean and never sprayed
*2 cups water
*1 tablespoon lemon juice (I used bottled organic lemon juice)
*1 tablespoons powdered pectin (I used freezer jam pectin because it was all I had)
*1 cup organic sugar
1. Combine lemon balm leaves and rose petals in a saucepan with the water. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and allow to steep for about an hour.
2. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve: use a wooden spoon to press all the liquid from the plant material (compost or discard it when you're through).
3. Combine strained liquid with lemon juice in the saucepan, then whisk in the pectin and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring to ensure the sugar dissolves, then turn heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes (or until the jelly has reduced a bit and thickened).
4. Transfer jelly to sterile jar(s), add lid(s) and ring(s), and cool to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator.
adapted from An Edible Mosaic