Gluten Free | Dairy Free Option | Nut Free | Vegan Option
Rosella Jam, or Roselle as it used to be known, is a quintessential Australian preserve that my gran loved to make. It’s tart, sweet and lip-smackingly delicious, and freshly made Rosella jam is a sticky, red delight you’ll never forget.
Approximately 72 (6 dozen) Rosellas – freshly picked
1 ½ litres Water
Raw Organic Sugar (the exact amount of sugar required is determined by the amount of Rosella pulp – see step 8 below)
2 teaspoons Butter (omit for Dairy Free and Vegan options)
Juice of 1 Lemon – freshly squeezed
This recipe makes about 5 to 6 x 240 ml jars of jam.
Separate the red calyxes of the Rosellas from the seed pods. I find the easiest way to do this is using an apple corer pushed in from the end that was previously attached to the plant.
Wash and drain the calyxes and seed pods separately.
Place the seed pods and water in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Ensure the water covers the pods and add a little extra water if needed. The saucepan needs to be large enough so that the contents reach less than half way up the sides because it will bubble up during cooking.
Bring the pods and water to the boil and cook with the lid on the saucepan for about 30 minutes. Watch carefully to ensure it doesn’t boil over. The liquid will reduce slightly and turn red, and pectin will be drawn from the pods.
Strain and reserve the liquid and return it to the saucepan. The pods can now be discarded and added to your compost.
Add the red calyxes to the liquid in the saucepan. They’ll probably not be completely covered by the liquid, but they’ll boil down quickly.
Boil for another 30 minutes until a rich, deep red pulp is formed.
Allow the pulp to cool slightly then measure the total volume of cooked pulp. It is likely to be between 1 and 1 ½ litres or 4 to 6 cups. Once measured, return the pulp to the saucepan.
Add 2 teaspoons of butter (omit for Dairy Free and Vegan options) and the juice of one lemon.
Add an equal amount of raw sugar to the pulp. For example, for every cup of pulp add one cup of raw sugar.
Stir well until all the sugar is completely dissolved. You may like to pre-warm the sugar on a tray in the oven on low heat because this will help it dissolve more quickly.
Once all the sugar is dissolved, boil the jam quickly, uncovered for about 20 minutes or until jam falls thickly from a spoon. To ensure setting point has been reached, you can also place a teaspoon of jam on a cold saucer in the freezer for a minute. If the jam sets and wrinkles when pushed, it’s ready.
Carefully pour the jam into warmed jars. A wide funnel will make this easier. Fill into the neck of each jar, but don’t overfill. Seal jars with lids immediately and allow to cool.
Label and store in a cool, dry, dark place.
Jam will keep well for at least 12 months. Once a jar is opened, it is best kept in the refrigerator.
Rosella Jam is delicious on toast or it can be served in place of cranberry sauce with turkey and ham, or as a sandwich chutney.
Preparing the Jars
To prevent contamination and lengthen the shelf life of homemade jams, it’s important to first sterilise the jars. Choose glass jars with an airtight lid. Remove any old labels and ensure they are free from cracks or chips. Wash in hot soapy water and rinse, then sterilise using one of the methods below.
Preheat the oven to 120oC. Place upright jars and lids separately on a baking tray. Heat in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove jars and fill immediately with the jam.
Place jars and lids in the dishwasher on the hottest cycle. Remove and place upside down onto a tray lined with a clean tea towel. Allow to drain, then turn right way up and fill with jam while still warm.
Place jars and lids in a deep saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and boil for 10 minutes. Carefully remove and place upside down onto a tray lined with a clean tea towel. Allow to drain, then turn right way up and fill with jam while still warm.