Uncanny has some exciting news: For the first time in our history, we’ll be available for retail outside of the Sackville Farmer’s Market! We’re very excited to be working with Cocagne River Orchard a family run apple orchard located in beautiful Cocagne, New Brunswick. Owners Denis and Nicole are long-time supporters of buying local and living gently on the land and uncanny is delighted to be working together, highlighting the best of South-East New Brunswick. The orchard is available as a u-pick, so when you’re done picking apples from their beautiful property, please visit their boutique where you’ll find a wide range of uncanny products and other interesting finds.
On the theme of growing and going together is a really special preserve that has been crafted from the abundance of local and readily available ingredients. A helpful way to look at flavour combinations is to tour your garden and look at what’s in season and chances are, those flavours will compliment each other. Right now the rhubarb season is winding down, the strawberries are turning red on the vine and the roses are in full bloom. All the makings of a lovely, summery preserve!
If you’ve never preserved with rose petals before, as I hadn’t, give it a try! Here are just a few benefits:
1. They make your kitchen smell like a fairy tale.
2. They are easy to harvest. Nip them in the bud stage and give them a 2 minute bath in cool, soapy water and a thorough rinse to ensure no bug friends join the party. They open during the day and the petals are ready to fall out by the evening. Super easy harvesting.
3. The flavour is really subtle. I was worried the preserve would taste like a funeral home, but it added just the right amount of floral note. Don’t worry, this is not a jam you’ll be dabbing behind your ears!
My strawberries weren’t perfectly ripe but I wanted them included in the preserve so I opted for my homemade Strawberry Liqueur. All together, you have three beautifully pink ingredients.
I went with a French style with this preserve, letting the rhubarb macerate for a couple of days before boiling the syrup and adding the remaining ingredients back in. I think it’s a darling of a preserve.
Rhubarb Rose Petal Preserve
2 3/4 pounds of chopped rhubarb
2 3/4 cups sugar
juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup rose petals or petals from 2 small roses. Please make sure they’re unsprayed.
**Optional: 2 tbsp Strawberry Liqueur **
1. Slice the rhubarb and toss sugar and juice of one lemon together and pour into 9×13 pan. Cover with parchment paper and refrigerate overnight.
2. The next morning, strain rhubarb mixture and pour juices into a large pan. Add the juice of your second lemon with the strained rhubarb juices. Bring to a boil and reduce by about half. Stir in rhubarb and fresh rose petals and stir over low-medium heat until the preserve is cooked to your liking. I like a bit of texture, so I reduced my liquid to the setting point and added the fruit in. It didn’t take long to finish and the jam is chunky. If you want a smoother, more stewed-like jam, don’t boil the rhubarb juice as much and give your rhubarb extra time to cook and break down.
3. Remove from heat and stir in your strawberry liqueur. Pour into sterilized jars and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Enjoy!