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Last weekend, my husband and I picked a bunch of wild rose petals to make syrup.  I had about 4 cups of petals, twice what the recipe called for so I thought I’d double it.  To start with, you use twice as much water, bring it to a boil, add the petals and simmer for 30 minutes (reduce heat as you add the petals).  So I did that.  The end result was not a great tea.  I wondered if I had done something wrong or if we had missed that perfect time for the petals.  I just couldn’t imagine it would make a good syrup.

I let it sit overnight after I had strained out the petals.  It was this dingy brown sour liquid.  We had worked so hard so I thought – maybe I could turn it into jelly.  It still had a hint of rose and jelly has a tendency to just taste sweet.  We could use it for glazing or something.

I pulled out the cookbooks and looked for a recipe that used tea.  My “normal” tea jelly recipe used apple or white grape juice and I didn’t have any.  Being that this could completely fail, I didn’t want to spend any more money on the experiment.

In my Ball Canning book, I found a recipe for mint jelly.  I had all the ingredients so why not.

The catch was I had too much liquid.  Even doubling the jelly recipe (which I did), I had twice as much tea as I needed.  So I boiled it down.  All that boiling did something miraculous.  That dingy brown became a beautiful jeweled red color and the sour flavor went away.  Okay, maybe we’re on to something.

So I boiled my almost 8 cups of tea down to 3 1/2 cups.  Once I had the right amount, I put the tea in a large saucepan or soup pot (go bigger than you think because I always end up nearly boiling over because I think I have a big enough pot).  To that I added 4 tablespoons lemon juice and 7 cups sugar.  Always use bottled lemon juice in canning recipes because it has consistent acidity.

I should note that this particular jelly comes together very quickly so at this point, cut the top off the liquid pectin and get it ready.

So bring that to a boil over high heat, a good hard boil that won’t subside as you stir.  Add the pectin, making sure to get all of it.  Boil a minute.  I’m never sure I cook it hard enough because I always have to remove the pot to keep it from boiling over.  And I never learn.

Once the time is up, let sit for a moment so that the foam reduces.  From what I understand, removing the foam is about correct head space.  Leaving a little won’t cause a problem.  So letting your jelly sit for a minute or two gets rid of most the foam.  I, personally, don’t like to waste the jelly that you remove with the foam.

Pour into jars.  I was thinking it needed a 1/2 inch head space but it’s actually 1/4 inch so my jars have a little more space than recommended.  However, it takes a lot for a jelly like this to spoil because of all the sugar.

To process – 10 minutes in a boiling waterbath.  I always put my freshly done jars in hot tap water and bring that to a boil.  Since I am at a higher elevation, I always boil for 15 minutes – sometimes longer because I’m never in a hurry.  The longer time has yet to ruin a batch and works to kill more bacteria.

The end result was amazing.  It’s light, sweet, with a hint of rose.  It’s so beautiful, I am tempted to decorate my house with it.  As you can see a double batch got me a total of 80 oz of jelly (7 regular 8 oz jelly jars, 2 wide mouth 8 oz jelly jars and 2 4oz jelly jars).

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Wild Rose Petal Jelly (single batch)

1 3/4 cup rose petal tea
2 TB lemon juice
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 pouch liquid pectin

In a large pot, mix together the tea, lemon juice and sugar.  Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Add pectin, making sure to remove as much as possible from the pouch.  Continue to stir and boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat and let sit for 1-2 minutes to reduce foam.  Pour into jelly jars.  Process in waterbath for 10 minutes.  Enjoy!!

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