Cook the rosellas with a little water, until soft, and puree in a blender. Measure how many cups of pulp, and add to it half the measurement in sugar. Bring to the boil and simmer, until a tablespoon of the jam shows that it is setting, by thickening when it is placed on a cool saucer. This may take 15-30 minutes of simmering. When the jam shows it is setting, fill into jars and seal. Include some of the seeds (secured in a small bag or cloth) to provide natural pectin to assist. You can use 1 cup of honey to 4 cups of pulp as an alternative to sugar but the jam would then need to be kept in the fridge to prevent mould from growing.
Rosella (Roselle, Florida Cranberry, Red Sorrel, Indian Sorrel, Mesta
Origin: Hawaii and West Indies
Plant: September – December
Harvest: February – April
A hardy, annual bush originating from Hawaii and the West Indies grows to 1-2m high. Allow 1 m spacing between plants grown in full to partial sun with well-drained soil.
Each bush can produce 1-2 kg of fruit or more, depending on soil fertility, climate conditions, day and night temperatures and how the bush is cared for. Picking off the plump, red calyces as soon as they mature, encourages regular flowering and more fruit set.
Source of Vitamins A, B, C and minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, cobalt, manganese, zinc, silicon, phosphorus and very rich in selenium and chromium.
To prepare rosellas, the red calyces need to be pulled off the seed capsule by hand. You can freeze the calyces until you have enough to make jam.