Rose Petal Marmalade

¼ lb. edible rose petals (free of pesticides)
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 bay leaf
2 cups water
Juice and zest of 1 lemon                       

1. Pull out the rose pedals from the flower. Cut the bitter white bases from the rose petals and discard. Rinse the petals gently and pat them dry with towel paper.

2. Place rose petals in a non-metallic bowl. Add one layer of petals and another of sugar until you have used up all of the petals. Be sure the petals are all covered with the sugar. Cover and let set overnight in the refrigerator.

3. In a thick bottom saucepan and over low heat, add the water, lemon juice, the bay leaf, and 3/4 cup of sugar. Allow to dissolve. Add in the rose petals in sugar and let simmer for 20-25 minutes. Stirring only occasionally. Next, remove the bay leaf, increase heat to medium and bring to a boil for 5-8 minutes to allow the marmalade to thicken.

4. To test if the marmalade is thick enough, dip in a teaspoon in the marmalade and allow to cool for a couple of minutes. If the marmalade thickens on the spoon, it is ready and remove from heat. A marmalade will always thicken a bit when it cools. If it appears to be too loose, allow to cook a few more minutes and test again.

5. Place the warm marmalade in a glass jar allow to cool first, then refrigerate for up to two weeks. Enjoy with pungent cheese, on cakes, cupcakes, or just eat it with a spoon.

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