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Ten days ago I tried to make Rosella Jam and Cordial, but ran out time before I could finish the job. 

For the Rosella Cordial (boiled whole flowers until colour leached out, then strain measure and add equal amount of sugar).  The last step before bottling was to add Citric Acid and I didn't have any of course and the shop was closed - it was a public holiday.  I think the purpose of this step is to allow it to be kept for longer before it goes mouldy.  The cordial has been kept in a glass bottle in the fridge.  Can I reboil it and add the citric acid now and is there any benefit of this ingredient?

The jam didn't set and I didn't have any jamsetta - ditto with the shop being closed.  I tried adding a bit of lemon rind but it still didn't set.  The whole pot is sitting in the fridge, can I reboil it and add jamsetta then put it in jars?  If the answer is yes, the next question for this one is how long do I have to do this... can I wait until Saturday?

Lesson learned from this is to make sure you have time to finish before starting a project!  I was halfway through doing a completely different gardening job and with the seceatears in hand decided to harvest the rosellas's.  Obviously once harvested they had to be processed and I was completely unprepared for that with no ingredients, jars, or even time!

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tee hee!

Cordial has lots of sugar in it and should keep really well. The citric acid is partly a preservativem but the sugar is more important - it's mostly just to give the flavour a sour note as a counterpoint. I recently made lemon myrtle cordial again and forgot the citric acid and it didn't taste nearly as good! I reckon you could boil up a little bit of the cordial and dissolve the citric acid in that and then stir it into the existing cordial and all would be well (although we get through our cordials pretty fast - if you want to be on the safe side for bottling then boil it all up again, simmer for 5 minutes, put in sterilised bottles and seal - that way they will keep for months no worries).

Rosella jam is notoriously hard to set. I reckon boil it back up (slow heat and stir so it doesn't burn/ congeal) and add the pectin and you'll be fine. Again, there's so much sugar in it it I reckon it won't really grow anything nastier than mould - any mould spores that are starting to germinate will be killed by repeat boiling (again at least 5 minutes simmer). Get it straight into sterilised jars and seal. Once opened rosella jam lasts for ages in the fridge in our house because I covet it and try to prevent anyone pigging it down or wasting it on non-delicious bread :) I reckon your jam should be ok until Saturday - and will be less mould prone if you keep it covered (glad wrap!) and don't touch it with anything (eg spoon). Lemon pips in a little bag are apparently a good setting agent too.

But I'm not a chef and I haven't studied food hygiene (or even the fowlers vacola manual!) Probably people who have would be horrified ;)
So long as the boil is a 'rolling boil' there shouldn't be any contamination problems. I don't know what that temperature is, but it's necessary for jam. Did you put the pips in a bag or boil them separately and add the liquor? That should be enough for jelling. If it wasn't enough then 'Jamsetta' to the rescue and follow the directions.

Another important aspect of keepability is to re-sterilise the jars and lids - wash in plain hot water, upend them onto the bars in the oven. The oven needs to be hot at around 120 deg C and turned off before the jars are put in. Keep the jars in the oven with the door closed and even if they get cold before bottling, they should stay sterile. Allow the jam to cool a bit before pouring into the jars - I've cracked a few jars pouring too soon.

Put the jars into something like a baking dish lined with paper - if a jar breaks, it will be confined and cleaning-up is much simpler and safer. Use a jug to pour the hot jam into the jar.

Oh yes, don't bother to skim off the foam on the way through, it wastes the jam. When jelling has been achieved and the heat turned off, add a knob of cold butter and your jam is magically clear.

These comments apply to chutneys, relishes, pickles, jellies and sauces and anything else which goes into hot sterile jars.
yes, rolling boil (higher than simmer, lower than bubble popping boil)
i boil my jars and lids in water in a giant pot on the stove (turning frequently if exposed) but you have to be a bit tricky with tongs getting them out without pouring boiling water everywhere/ down your arm - then they have to steam dry quickly on a clean teatowel or oven rack

have never tried that butter trick - will have to give that a go! I never make jam up here, my rosella died and I don't have any jammy trees - I used to make plum jam in Melbourne (there's usually a spare plum tree around down there - yum!)...also i've tried not skimming and skimming and i can't really tell the difference - I guess maybe the foam stuff on top doesn't bug me (it is prettier without though)
Thanks guys, although I had intended to give it a try anyway it is reassuring to know that you both would too!

I didn't/ don't even have jars for the jam so they certainly aren't sterilised yet ;) ... will have to go through the fridge/ container to find some suitable.

Next time I will try boiling all of the calyx (hopefully that is the green pip that I am thinking of) instead of half. The recipe I used mentioned they have pectin and advises to boil half in water until they are translucent then add a cupful (from memory) of the liquid into the jam.

Thanks Elaine for the tip about the butter, I will give it a try!
I found out from a proffesional rosella jam maker, that he freezes his rosellas so he can make jam all year.
I have just made my first attempt at rosella jam last week and the recipe I used was.
Extract seeds and place seeds in saucepan, cover with water.
Boil for 30 minutes. (This gives you the setting agent for jam).
Strain liquid into another container and discard seeds.
Add Rosellas to the juice and cook 30 minutes or until soft.
Measure pulp and add 1 cup of sugar to each cup of pulp.
If you don’t want the jam too sweet, cut back the quantity of sugar)
Then measure juice and add juice of 1 lemon for every 600ml liquid.
Boil rapidly for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cool, bottle and seal.
and it worked even for me:) I know this doesn't help you now but it might next time.
: ( Tried a few times to get seeds to germinate and none would. How long do they last/fruit for as perennials?? Might set them up somewhere permanent. If they grow from cuttings I wouldn't mind snavelling some when the weather is better for them. Good luck with the jam and cordial making. Never attempted jam but if I can get some rosella going will give it a shot.
Rosellas are warm-season growers and annuals. Either put in seed in Spring or buy some seedling punnets then. They are wider rather than higher and are in the garden all summer. They love the sun and plenty of water.
you can get them to overwinter - I think it must be in warm spots only (eg against a brick wall at the top of a sunny slope). mostly they seem to die theory they're meant to be perennial, but you don't see them much - I know one friend who has them in her backyard orchard, she just cuts them back after flowering and they come back
I'm going to give it a try as they are in a sunny spot next to a wood paling fence, just to see how it goes.
I didn't get any up from seed, but someone gave me some at a garden visit last year. The seeds are almost like stones, maybe they need to be soaked or somthing! I will be trying again next year anyway to test against the pruned ones :)

Vanessa, I germinated about a dozen in toilet rolls and transplanted them into the ground when they were about 8" tall. I planted 5 and gave the rest away, and so far have harvested about 5 kgs, they are going gangbusters at the moment, so should have another 2 kgs this week! I'll give you a few plants next spring...
Thanks Addy, that would be wonderful. I have no success growing seeds inside - I tried with the rosellas. One came up and then proceded to die, the rest didn't germinate. Now I just sow all my seeds directly. I figure nature intended it that way, at least in my case. Did you do anything to the seeds before planting - soaking or scarifying?


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