One of the plants that I am growing here at our house is roselle. I thought I had a post about some roselle juice that I made, but I guess not. All I have is this photo of when our roselle plants first started growing, that was almost a year ago! Since then we’ve had roselle juice a few times, and I have planted more roselle plants from the seeds of the first plant.
Usually I get 5-10 roselles, so just enough to make a few cups of juice. But this time I had a bumper harvest, I had this medium saucepan full!
I could have just made a bunch of juice (Naren would have preferred that), but I wanted to take the chance to make something different. Who knows when I’d have so many roselle again! So I used about 2/3 of the roselle to make some jam, and used the rest for juice.
When making things with roselle, you have to peel off the outer part. The inside is the seed pod, which you do not want to use! The toughest part of this job is that the roselle are covered in little tiny hairs. They are not soft hairs, they can actually prick into your skin, it’s owy!! I don’t know of all roselle varieties are like this. I assume not because I haven’t seen comments about pokey roselle hairs anywhere else. But mine have them, so I have to be careful! I cut them off the plant with scissors. Then I hold one in my left and with with a small paring knife in my right hand I peel off the outer part. Here is what they look like when they are all prepped:
There was a recipe in the book Joy of Cooking for roselle sauce, so I altered that (it had a TON of sugar in it) to make this. I thought it would be more of a sauce but it was actually more jam-like in consistency. Here is what I did:
2 1/2 cups prepped roselle
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1T cornstarch, tapioca starch, or other starch (optional, makes it more like a jam than a sauce)
Add the roselle, water, and sugar to a medium saucepan. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until the roselle pieces are all softened. If you want to use it as is, you can, just let it cool down. A great substitute for cranberry sauce! If you want more of a jam consistency, add the 1T of starch mixed in with a little water to dissolve, and simmer for 2 more minutes or until thickened. let cool and refrigerate. Ours was in the fridge for about a week and a half before we used it up, we used it as jam. I think it would taste great mixed with applesauce as well!
Roselle jam is So pretty! It is a rich reddish-pink. It is so strong colored that you’d be tempted to think there is food coloring in it. But nope, it’s all natural! I’m hoping to have another bumper crop of roselle sometime so I can make more jam. I think it’d be great in some homemade danishes!