One of the sweetest ways to taste Bulgaria when travelling in the country is to try the homemade Bulgarian rose jam. It is typical for Bulgaria because the country is a traditional producer of rose oil (derived from Rosa damascena or also called Damask rose hybrid) which is used in the world’s perfume industry. You can use this rose petals jam recipe to make the jam at home. Use garden roses for its preparation if you don’t have the possibility to use the Damask rose petals.
Big thank you to Maria, who agreed to share with us the recipe. Her blog My Cooking Book Blog is a real source of culinary inspiration, with many colourful recipes and mouth-watering photos.
Before You Start Preparing Your Bulgarian Rose Jam:
- It is better the roses to be picked early in the morning and the preparation of the jam to begin before they start to fade.
- Roses should be dry when picked.
- If you use lemon juice, you’ll need to add it somewhere in the middle of cooking. Citric acid is added at the end of cooking, 1-2 minutes before the jam to be removed from the fire.
- The rose petals should be dry but because we have a lot of dust in the garden, I prefer to wash my roses under cold running water and leave them dry on kitchen towels.
- I take the petals from the stem, covering the entire flower with fingers of one hand and pull the petals slightly rotating them. The more blooming roses are the more easily separated from the stem are the petals. The outer petals are large and there may be wilted or damaged – they are discarded. The smallest petals from the rose core also are not used.
- The yellow part at the base of each petal (some varieties may be pale or even white) is removed because it contains bitter streak. Once finished, you may begin cooking your jam.
- The measuring cup that I use has a capacity of 250 ml, but since sugar is measured by glasses you can also use a cup with another size.
Bulgarian Rose Jam Recipe:
- 4 cups clean, dry rose petals
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 ½ cups water
- ½ cup rose water
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice or
- Citric acid (salt of lemon) – 1 teaspoon for each kilogram of sugar
The method of preparation:
Measure the quantity of the rose petals. The glass should be filled well (tightly) so that the rose petals fill the space with slight pressure.
Mix the rose petals and the sugar in a suitable container or directly into the pan in which you will cook the jam.
Mix with sugar by rubbing between the fingers. The sugar will gradually moisten by the rose juice.
This is done until the roses release their aroma and sugar is soaked with their juice.
Add the rose and ordinary water and place the mixture on a moderate heat until the sugar melts. It is about 10 minutes from the time of boiling. Then turn off the heat and when the mixture cools completely, cover it with a tea towel. Leave overnight. The next day cook for another 10 minutes or until the required density. Total time of cooking should last from 20 to a maximum of 30 minutes.
You can check the density by dribbling a few drops of the jam syrup on a porcelain plate. Stir to cool and swipe your finger over the syrup. If it is ready, it should leave a trail. Add the lemon salt just before removing from the fire.
If you want to keep the jam for longer immediately (while hot) distribute it in dry, clean jars. Cover with the lid and turn upside down, as they remain until cool. If you will consume the jam soon, remove from heat and when cool and just transfer it to a suitable container.
Do you have favourite traditional recipes from your home country?
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