Be sure you’re gathering pesticide-free petals. Then sort through them before freezing them to be sure you haven’t included a clinging June bug or ants. Stack them in layers and seal well. This recipe works with other rose species as well, but I prefer the subtle perfume of Rosa rugosa. It’s excellent as a breakfast condiment but also pairs well with roasted pork.
1/2 pound Rosa rugosa petals, divided
2 cups sugar, divided
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
4 cups water
Juice of 2 lemons
Into a medium bowl, place a layer of rose petals, 3 petals deep. Shake a layer of sugar on top of the rose petals; repeat layering and sugaring until you’ve used all the petals. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Reserve remaining sugar.
The next day, into a medium saucepan over medium heat place remaining sugar, ginger, water, and lemon juice. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add sugared rose petals and bring mixture to a simmer; cook about 20 minutes. Then raise heat to bring mixture to a boil, and stir well until the jam reaches 220°. Remove from heat. Pour into pristinely clean jelly jars. Seal well and process in boiling water 15 minutes.