Thursday, 18 July 2013

Rosella Jam

So for months now I have been dutifully collecting, washing, separating and freezing rosella flowers off my rosella plant, and finally yesterday I felt it was time to actually put them to use!

My rosella jam!

I have never made jam before, and never used a rosella... so this whole process was one giant learning curve for me!

By the time I decided to make jam, I had maybe a third of a bucket of rosellas, but since my plant was starting to get sparse, didn't want to wait any longer!

  • Rosella calyces
  • Lots of granulated sugar - as much sugar as there will be fruit pulp
  • Water

  • Two pots
  • Stirring spoon
  • Sieve
  • Sterilised jars*

* (I sterilise jars by putting the jars and lids in a large pot with about 1 inch of water in the bottom, and boiling for 10 minutes on the stove top. )

The first step (which I had already done before freezing each picked batch) is to separate the outer red fleshy calyx from the pod by running a knife around between the two.  Apparently an apple corer works quite well too. 

Next, place all the pods in a pot, and just cover them with water (you want them to only just begin floating). 

Rosella pods just covered in water.
Boil them approximately 15 to 20 minutes, until the pods are translucent (you will be able to see the seeds inside them).  This step releases the pectin in the pods, which is required for the jam to set.

Translucent pods after boiling - you can see the seeds.
Place the fleshy calyces into a separate pot, and strain the water out of the boiled pods into this pot with the calyces.  Discard the pods. Don't worry about the fact that there is not much water for the amount of calyces - they will condense down very quickly. 

Calyces in a pot (these are straight out of the freezer, so still have ice crystals on them).
Calyces condensed down after 5 mins of cooking.
Bring the calyces to the boil, and simmer for 20 mins, stirring frequently so they don't stick.  They will turn into a fruity pulp consistency.

After 20 minutes of simmering.
Remove from the heat.  Measure the volume of pulp you have, and add in an equal volume of granulated sugar.  (For example if you have 2 cups of pulp, add 2 cups of sugar).  This will cause your pulp to go quite liquid again.

Bring back to the boil, and boil (or high simmer) for a further 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently enough to make sure it doesn't stick.  Test the jam for readiness by dropping a little onto a plate and wait for it to cool slightly - if it forms a skin which wrinkles when you push your finger through it, it's done!

Boiling the jam.
Pour the jam into sterilised jars, close the lids tightly and cool on the countertop.  The tops of the lids should click in as the jam cools.  These jars should be fine to keep at room temperature until they are opened, at which point keep them in the fridge.

Rosella jam jars!
Enjoy your jam!

With freshly baked bread and cream :)

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