Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide
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Fresh, Raw and Sweet Rose Preserve

Jar of homemade rose preserve

I used to walk round my Granny’s garden and smell the roses, my sisters and I used to snap off her runner beans and eat them raw too. Luckily for Granny, I didn’t know that roses were edible then, though I still love to stop to smell them, whether in a park, someone’s garden or a hedgerow.

Roses make my heart sing, they truly do. From the scent through to the texture of the petals, they are an edible heaven to me. Eat them fresh OR this recipe is ridiculously easy and super good. It was given to me by my colleague Emma Gunn and you can't go wrong with it. Unless you don't like roses.

In this post I share the recipe, explain when to pick roses (and why) which is the best rose to eat (and my favourite) and how to use this delicious rose preserve.

Slice of homemade sponge cake sandwiched with rose preserve

When to pick rose petals?

Roses are a joy to see in flower, and the petals are ready to pick when they come away easily when touched - I share tips on picking here in; Roses are Red, Pink, White and Edible. There’s no need to pick the whole flower head; keeping it intact will ensure the rosehip fruit will grow later in the year. Rose hips are wonderful to use for autumn desserts and treats.

Which rose petals are the best to eat?

All roses are edible, but not all are fragrant. You also want to make sure they haven't been sprayed. That's why I love the wild ones and my favourite wild roses are rosa rugosa*, also known as Japanese rose. They have a wonderful fragrance and fantastic colour!

Rosa rugosa growing on the beach

Where can you find rosa rugosa roses?

Japanese roses are originally grown in Japan, China, Korea and Siberia and were brought over to Europe over 100 years ago. They first arrived in the UK in 1796 and in Japan are called hamanasu.

They're also known as beach roses (which gives you a clue) as they tolerate salt water and can help stabilise sand dunes.

You can find them in coastal areas across Europe, eastern Asia and North America. Many gardens also have this beautiful plant.

They spread easily and are considered an invasive. Picking and cooking the rosehips in the autumn will help reduce the spread of the seeds.

Fresh Rose Preserve Recipe

A super easy recipe that preserves the fresh flavour of roses in a beautiful sweet and lemony base. Will keep for up to 3 months in the fridge. Use blended into yoghurt, drizzled over or sandwiched between sponge cakes. Serve alongside chocolate cake.

I'm also open to other ways of enjoying this, so I'd love to hear how you enjoyed yours! Just use the comments box below.

Jar of sweet rose preserve

Makes 110 g (enough to sandwich a classic 20 cm sponge cake together)

Ingredients

  • 30 g (2 cups) fresh rosa rugosa petals*
  • 85 g unrefined caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Blend the ingredients together and store in a sterilised jar. Will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Fresh Rose Preserve Recipe

A super easy recipe that preserves the fresh flavour of roses in a beautiful sweet and lemony base. Will keep for up to 3 months in the fridge. Use blended into yoghurt, drizzled over or sandwiched between sponge cakes. Serve alongside chocolate cake.

I'm also open to other ways of enjoying this, so I'd love to hear how you enjoyed yours! Just use the comments box below.

Jar of sweet rose preserve

Makes 110 g (enough to sandwich a classic 20 cm sponge cake together)

Ingredients

  • 30 g (2 cups) fresh rosa rugosa petals*
  • 85 g unrefined caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Blend the ingredients together and store in a sterilised jar. Will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.

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