Oregon Rose Petal Jelly

| December 22, 2009 | 2 Comments

The temperate Willamette Valley climate in Oregon makes it a great place to live, especially for gardeners.

Winters are relatively mild if you can stand the dreary rain and gray weather.

The springs are glorious, with clear skies, cool dry days and cool nights. In the summer, it can get warm, but come sundown it cools off pleasantly.

The winter is time to plan the vegetable garden and flower garden and do prep work so that come spring you’re ready to get going.

Heaven On Earth, a floribunda variety from Jackson & Perkins that has a wonderful aroma and huge peony-like blooms.

One of the things I learned shortly after moving here is that Oregon is the home of rose king Jackson & Perkins. And no wonder. The climate here is perfect for growing roses. They thrive with the warm summer days and cool nights. Over the course of a couple of years, I’ve planted a long row of roses of varying varieties and colors along our backyard fence lines. I’ve got climbing roses, floribunda, grandiflora, antique roses, English tea roses. I’ve had to stop because I’ve run out of space.

April In Paris, a wonderfully fragrant rose from Jackson & Perkins

In the summertime, our backyard is bursting with color and we’re never short of a supply of cut flowers for the house.

A few years ago, Charles ran across a recipe for rose petal jelly in The Seattle Times and encouraged me to make our own. I loved the idea and thought it would be a wonderful way to enjoy the memory of our roses all year ’round and to share it with our friends and family as holiday gifts.

It’s really a simple process, but it is time-consuming, so you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a day set aside to make the jelly and can it properly. The jelly takes on the perfume of the roses you use and the color of the jelly is influenced by the colors of the roses. So over time, you can experiment with different combinations.

I simply followed the recipe for making the jelly from the Times article and then found instructions on canning in the package of Ball jars I bought from the store. I usually triple the recipe and put up 15-20 jars at a time during the summer. That way there’s plenty to give away as holiday gifts with enough to spare for my own family’s use.

Rose Petal Jelly

Rose Petal Jelly

Makes 5 half-pint jars

  • 3 cups (720 ml.) water
  • 1 cup (240 ml.) fresh, fragrant rose petals or 1/3 cup (80 ml.) food-grade dried rose petals
  • 2 or 3 whole cloves, optional
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1-ounce (30-gr.) box powdered pectin
  • 4 cups (960 ml.) sugar

1. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan or pot and stir in the roses, and the cloves if using. Remove from the heat and let the mixture steep for 10 minutes, as if you were making rose-petal tea. Your tea won’t have much color but don’t worry at this point.

2. Strain the “tea” into another pot, discarding the solids. Stir in the lemon juice. You’ll notice immediately that the acid from the lemon will turn your clear liquid an amber color. You can play around with the colors of petals that you use. I’ve noticed that the color will turn a nice dark pink if I use petals from pink and red roses. Stir in pectin and continue stirring until the pectin is dissolved.

3. Over the highest possible heat, bring the mixture to a boil and add the sugar. When the solution returns to a hard rolling boil, time it for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. After 2 full minutes, transfer the jelly to hot, sterilized glasses and seal according to manufacturer’s suggestions.


— Vic

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Category: Condiment

About the Author (Author Profile)

Victor Panichkul is a journalist and writer by training; a cook, wine lover and photographer by passion; and a lover of the outdoors since moving to Oregon more than 10 years ago. He is a native of Bangkok, Thailand.

Comments (2)

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  1. Ginny Renaud says:

    I love the variety of recipes you and Charles chose to share. This is such a fun one. I know I will make it next summer too.
    Ginny Renaud

  2. vpanichkul says:

    Ginny, when you decide to make this, I have a huge canning pot if you need to borrow it to boil and seal the jars.

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