Rosella jam workshop

Yesterday we held a rosella jam workshop at Beelarong Community Farm where I have my allotment.

Dorothea is the driving force behind the planting and harvesting of the rosella bushes. She also makes the rosella jam which we sell at the farm as a fund-raiser and yesterday morning she took us through the process of rosella jam making. Most enjoyable in our open-air kitchen.

Dorothea had already harvested the rosellas so our first job was to remove the seed pods from the red calyx. It’s the calyx that gives the jam the colour and flavour.

Rosella calyx and seed pod

Rosella calyx and seed pod

It can be a bit tough removing the seed pod from the calyx so John, a volunteer and maintenance man at the farm, has made us a couple of these tools. The wooden handle gives you a good grip and the metal part pushes the seed pod through the calyx.

A handy tool

A handy tool

After removing all the seed pods they are then boiled up to release the pectin.

Seed pods boiling

Seed pods boiling

The seed pods are then strained and the liquid (pectin) is boiled up with the red calyx and sugar to make the jam. Dorothea didn’t take her eyes off the pot once the sugar went in, she kept it moving gently so that it wouldn’t stick.

Boiling up the jam

Boiling up the jam

Time to pour the jam into the sterilised jars. It was good to see some young people enjoying the workshop too. They really threw themselves into the process and were very ‘hands-on’.

The jars are filled

The jars are filled

Finally, with the jam labelled and ‘dressed’, we all took a jar home with us.

Rosella jam

Rosella jam

Here is the recipe for the rosella jam

Wash freshly picked rosellas in cold water and drain.

Separate the red calyx from the seed pods.

Place seed pods in a saucepan, cover with water and gently boil for 5-10 minutes to release the pectin.

Remove from heat, strain, save the liquid (pectin) and discard the seed pods.

Wash the red calyx in cold water.

Pour the liquid pectin back into a large saucepan, add the red calyx and simmer gently until very soft (about 20 minutes) stirring often.

Add sugar at the rate of 1.5 kilos of sugar for 1.5 litres of pulp.

Boil quickly for 15-20 minutes after adding the sugar, stirring occasionally.

Add two tablespoons of jam setta.

Skim off any foam with a slotted spoon.

Bottle the jam into hot sterilised jars and seal immediately.

Enjoy.

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14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. narf77
    Jun 02, 2013 @ 18:13:00

    You are certainly busy on the preserving fronts these days Jean, cheers for sharing your recipes. They are well worth stashing away should I ever come across any choko’s and rosellas 🙂

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Jun 03, 2013 @ 05:53:54

      Hi Fran. I feel I’m moving into my best pickling and jam making time now as the produce becomes available. I am totally into collecting choko recipes at the moment and in the last few days I’ve made choko pickle/relish, choko soup with a hint of curry, stewed choko and apple for dessert and after salting the chokos overnight I’m making choko jam today. I think I need help – do you have any CA (Choko Anonymous) meetings near you?

      Reply

      • narf77
        Jun 03, 2013 @ 05:57:05

        I need to recover from my own addiction to Pinterest Jean! I think we all need to form our own online group 😉

  2. brownhillsbird
    Jun 02, 2013 @ 23:57:03

    I’ve never even heard of rosellas but that jam looks lovely

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Jun 03, 2013 @ 10:30:22

      I hadn’t heard of rosellas until I came to Australia. As well as the rosella bush we make the jam from, we also have a native rosella bird. A very pretty bird with pink feathers. It’s only since I joined Beelarong Community Farm three years ago that I tasted this rosella jam and it has the most wonderful flavour. Hard to describe because really the taste is unique.

      Reply

      • Live and Learn-Toss and Turn
        Jun 03, 2013 @ 11:13:27

        I’m not familiar with rosella either. When I googled it, I only got hits for the parrot. Someday, maybe I’ll taste it. Or for that matter, see a rosella parrot.

      • Allotment adventures with Jean
        Jun 04, 2013 @ 06:55:47

        Try googling “Rosella Plant” – that will work for you. How strange that we have the same name for a parrot and a bush. Rosella parrots are so pretty to look at as they fly over. Perhaps one day you will see one. And taste the Rosella jam. Put it on your bucket list.

  3. marco t
    Jun 03, 2013 @ 22:03:47

    Hello, very interested in the recipe thank you very much for sharing. We grow rosella to make juice, the burmese also love eating the young leaves stir fried with shrimp paste, not so much here in Thailand, making jam from it sounds great, but what is jam setta?

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Jun 04, 2013 @ 07:12:49

      Hello Marco. I have read that in some cultures the young rosella leaves are used in cooking. Jam Setta is a product you buy in the supermarket to help your jam set. It’s actually just pectin. There is pectin in lemon juice so if you don’t have Jam Seta you could just add the juice of a lemon instead. That should work.

      Reply

      • rabidlittlehippy
        Jun 04, 2013 @ 09:34:18

        Apples also have pectin in them too. The more sour the apple the higher the pectin so granny smiths are good like that. The lemon pips also contain a lot of pectin as I know when I make lemon marmalade I dig the pips from the flesh and tie them up in a muslin to throw in too. I take them out as it begins to reach gelling point.
        I’d never seen or heard of rosella’s (the fruit/flower) until a few months ago. Being from Melbourne where they won’t grow probably hasn’t helped that though. The birds however are stunning. I love crimson rosellas and we get them around here in Ballan. 🙂
        Your jam sounds lovely and the colour is stunning. Do you know if rosellas (not the birds) can be used for dyeing fabrics and the like?

      • Allotment adventures with Jean
        Jun 04, 2013 @ 17:04:04

        Thanks for the tips about pectin. Useful info for us jam makers.
        Not sure if you can use the rosella for dyeing fabrics. I couldn’t find it under google so it may not have been done yet!

  4. Fern
    Apr 18, 2015 @ 10:44:18

    Hi Jean, is there anything you could use the discarded pods for? We are just about to harvest our first crop. I love rosella jam!

    Reply

  5. Kathryn Schmidt
    Apr 24, 2016 @ 18:11:48

    Have you ever combined chokos and rosellas in a dish?

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Apr 24, 2016 @ 18:16:17

      Thank you for visiting Kathryn.
      No, we haven’t combined chokes and rosellas in a dish. We make our speciality, rosella jam just with sugar and pectin. The chokos we make into a yummy choko pickle and that goes down well and savoury biscuits and cheese.

      Reply

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