Preserving whole fruit or large pieces of fruit by cooking them with sugar syrup is a part of traditional cuisine in the Balkans. It is very similar to jam, but much sweeter, with pieces of fruit still firm and palatable. It is most commonly used as an addition to confectionery, but it is also sometimes served alone with a cup of coffee or a large cup of water.
The following recipe was kindly given to us by one of our employees in whose family it has been for generations.
600 g rose petals
1 l water
1 kg sugar
Wash the petals and remove the white part at the base. Allow them to dry until no water is left on the surface. Place the petals in a pot, add water and let it boil. After the water has boiled, add sugar. Stir occasionally until all sugar has dissolved. Add juice of 2 squeezed lemons and simmer for about half an hour until the mixture thickens. Pour the mixture in clean glass jars while still hot and secure firmly with lids. The preserve may seem a bit loose at first, but it will firm up as it sets. You can eat it right away but it develops a fuller flavour after a day or two. Store it in a cold and dark place for up to a year or for about 6 months opened and refrigerated.