In ancient times, this famous jam was called gol ghand, which simply means flower and sugar. The heady concoction of petals will transport you straight to the famous Persian gardens where the air is filled with the scent of roses and the nightingales sing. Imagine starting your day by topping your breakfast toast with this beautiful jam, or spreading it on scones with some clotted cream at tea time? It can double up as a topping for ice cream or panna cotta too.
Best to pick organic roses or those that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides. And best of all are Damascus roses, which have small petals and are very fragrant.
fresh rose petals, enough to fill 1.5 litres (2 pints) 5 cups
675g (1lb 6oz) 3 cups sugar
2–3 tbsp lemon or lime juice
2 generous tbsp rose water
Cut away and discard the white base of the petals. Place the petals in a large bowl, cover with cold water and put in the fridge for about an hour.
Drain the water and spread the petals to dry on paper towels.
Rinse and dry the bowl, then start layering the petals with 225g (8oz) 1 cup sugar, making sure they are all sprinkled with it, cover with
clingfilm and place in the fridge overnight or for up to 8 hours.
In a preserving pan, bring the remaining sugar and 250ml (8fl oz) 1 cup water to the boil. Add the lemon or lime juice and then the petal
and sugar mixture. Bring it back to the boil and then simmer over a medium heat for about 15–20 minutes or 110˚C/220˚F on a sugar
Add the rose water and bring it back up to 110˚C/220˚F, which will take very little time. You add the rose water at this late stage so that it
doesn’t lose its fragrance. Pour the jam into sterilised jars.
Recipe taken from Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes by Ariana Bundy, published by Simon & Schuster