Thursday, October 4, 2012

Rose Petal Jelly, and Rose and Lavender Syrups

I've been meaning to post these recipes since the beginning of the summer when we did this, but the inevitable freeze (still weeks away, let's hope!) makes me aware that my roses are still gorgeous at this time of year. If yours are, too, and you want to use their petals for one last lovely distillation of summertime, here are the recipes for you!
Flowers ready for crystallizing

One of the simplest things to do is just to crystallize your rose petals. It's done just the same way you make sugared violets (brush the flower with a beaten egg white, then sprinkle with superfine sugar), but you can use any type of edible flower. Rose petals were the easiest and most fun to do because they aren't quite so delicate and fiddly. The violas look gorgeous, but it was harder for the boys to keep the petals from creasing while they painted the egg white on. The mint leaves were fun to do too. Everything smelled heavenly! Here we made crystallized violas, pansies, rose petals, lavender, and two kinds of mint.
We also made lavender sugar---or a different method of crystallized lavender where you just blanch the blossoms in boiling water for 30 seconds and then toss them with sugar. It was easier than the egg-white painting, but less elegant, I thought.

A cake using our flowers. They add such a delicate, delicious little crunch!

 
Maybe even easier than the crystallized flowers is this recipe for Rose Petal Jelly. I was afraid it was so simple it wouldn't work, but it turned out beautifully. You just blend up rose petals and lemon juice and water in the blender, then blend in some sugar. Add pectin and boiling water, and let it set overnight. It is DELICIOUS. We had it on buttermilk biscuits for dinner and it was amazing. Such a rosy, delicate taste. Yum! It's a lovely color, too. The jelly recipe we used is here.

We also made rose and lavender syrup, using the easiest method possible: you make a simple syrup (sugar+water), add rose petals or lavendar, and simmer on the stove for an hour. (Recipe here; we didn't add any food coloring.) Then you strain out the flowers and you have flavored syrup! We ate it on pancakes the next morning and it was awesome, but my favorite thing we did with it was make Italian cream sodas. You put ice in a glass, cover it with seltzer/club soda, add a healthy amount of the syrup (aren't the colors gorgeous?!), and then top with a splash of cream. They were SO good. I can't decide which I liked better---maybe the lavender, but only barely. They both had that subtle, exotic flavor that flowers add to things. It tasted vaguely Indian to me (I think I've had Indian dishes made with rosewater before).

1 comment:

  1. I suppose it is futile to complain that no one should be able to do both cooking and poetry - and that cooking poetry or poetic cooking is simply show-offy and over-lucky - and smart and brilliant and artistic. Now I want to taste the jelly, but I'd have to make it myself, and - as I tried a new recipe for spiced fried cheese sticks (football food) only last week, I am not scheduled to cook anything else for another year and a half. It was not poetry. I wasn't even food for us. But melty cheese is certainly lovely in its own right. The flowers look so beautiful in their trays, and the results are so fresh in color - but the best part are those faces, boys who paint petals with sugared egg. Even writing that makes me feel clever and delicate.

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