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Rose petal sorbet

>> Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sorbete rosas 1

This time the British in my veins has surfaced. My anglophile (and dark, of course) side recently drove me to buy a family recipe collection by Norwegian-descent British writer Roald Dahl. For those who do not know him (?), Roald Dahl is the author of the books in which the movies Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach are based, as well as of a lot of other famous works. In short, reading the book I came across an amazing recipe for rose petal sorbet and oh, serendipity! Being that the roses in my garden are in full bloom, I set to work.

Sorbete rosas 2

The book is beautifully edited, with great photos of Mr. Dahl and his family in the typical English cottage where he lived most of his life. I've always envied those English writers in their English cottages, leading an idyllic English life... dedicated to writing English books in a cute little house, surrounded by lush vegetation, eating tomato soup and kidney pie, and soaking in sherry... Also the photos never show the eternal English rain... In short, these are the consequences of reading too many Agatha Christie novels when I was young and too many Enid Blyton books as a child. And they say that reading is good.

Rose petal sorbet
Yields 6 servings

  • 4 large handfuls of rose petals (at least half of them should come from pink or red roses, otherwise the sorbet won't have the right color)
  • 570ml water
  • 230g sugar
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp glycerin, food grade
Rose petal sorbet 4
  • Collect a few roses that have not been treated with insecticide or similar crap, like mine (honestly, we don't pay any attention to them until they bloom). Carefully examine the petals to get rid of any bugs.
  • Put the water in a saucepan. Add the sugar and take everything to a boil. Boil for five minutes, just enough to concentrate the syrup a little bit.
  • Turn off the heat and add the rose petals. Mash slightly with a wooden spoon (actually, cooking the syrup and the addition of the petals could also be done in a Thermomix). The petals thoroughly lose their color. In contrast, the liquid becomes a light tea color. Cover the saucepan and let stand overnight in a cool place (the fridge if it is warm).
  • The next day, pass the mixture through a cheese cloth placed on a sieve (I caught an earwig... earwig flavored sorbet...). Discard the petals.
  • The funny thing about this recipe is that an unattractive colored liquid yields a rather gaudy pink sorbet. And the miracle is worked at this time: by adding the lemon zest and juice to the rose syrup... Voilá! The color changes. Trust me. I'm supposed to be a chemist and I have no idea why this happens... what a waste of money spent on college. I guess it's caused by the acid in the lemon. I've found on the Internet that it happens too with violet syrup... Intriguing.
Rose petal sorbet 5
  • Add the glycerin. I suppose that it's added to help prevent the formation of large ice crystals, but there's no explanation for it in the book. Maybe it's a family secret...
  • Mix well and put in a container that can go into the freezer if you have no icecream maker. Mix well every hour to prevent it from becoming a single block of ice, until very cold. I filled with the syrup some of those plastic bags to make ice cubes. Then I mashed the cubes in the Thermomix. Once the sorbet is ready, serve in the finest glasses you have, because the color is wonderful...
If roses have a a flavor, this is it, no doubt. Its aroma is instilled in the sorbet. The flavor is intriguing, you wouldn't guess the origin if you weren't told. But once you're told about the key ingredient, then you say: right, it tastes of roses! (And earwigs... but that's my secret ingredient, haha.)

Sorbete rosas 3

28 comentarios:

denise @ quickies on the dinner table June 3, 2010 at 12:44 PM  

Lovely, just lovely! I love anything with roses and I too envy those English writers, and their trail of scone crumbs, with their sherry infused breath, in their English cottages, set in their English gardens, within their idyllic English villages...


Mjosé June 3, 2010 at 1:00 PM  

Miriam , me parece una receta muy original. Soy un poco paleta pero no he probado nada parecido.¿Sabe como debería oler? Tengo que probarlo.
Un abrazo

Valerie Harrison (bellini) June 3, 2010 at 1:11 PM  

I can see myslf in an English country garden with my "spot" of tea and rose petal sorbet and biscuits.

Belinda @zomppa June 3, 2010 at 1:23 PM  

Lovely is true! He is one of my favorite, favorite authors...I always knew he had a thing for food (probably why I like him so), but didn't realize he had a recipe book! The sorbet looks amazing.

Alina June 3, 2010 at 2:07 PM  

I never knew Roald Dahl wrote recipes?.. The colour of this sorbet is amazing. I'd love to try it for a summer outdoor party in the garden... only I don't have a garden :)

Tasty Trix June 3, 2010 at 2:19 PM  

Well, it seems we have something in common - I love Dahl and I, too used to read Agatha Christie books (and Sherlock Holmes) as a girl. I was so ridiculous I'd make tea and bread with butter while I read and pretend to be English! I didn't know about the cookbook, how interesting! I love the color of this sorbet - how brave of you to trust/hope you got all the bugs off!

Anonymous June 3, 2010 at 5:39 PM  

Beautiful sorbet! I can just imagine the lovely delicate flavor!

The Duo Dishes June 3, 2010 at 6:08 PM  

Gorgeous photo of the final product. This is a very refreshing summertime dessert!

Anonymous June 3, 2010 at 7:12 PM  

Very lovely :)

Tania June 3, 2010 at 11:30 PM  

I love roses because they are so particular and delicate, wonderful sorbet!

lisaiscooking June 4, 2010 at 12:21 AM  

I'm a long-time Agatha Christie fan myself. This sorbet sounds like a lovely summer dessert. The color is great too!

Anonymous June 4, 2010 at 12:22 AM  

Wow! Rose and violet syrup must work like litmus paper. Acid turns the paper red, right? Next time you should try adding a baking soda to a little bit of it just to see if it turns blue, haha. But what a lovely thing for summer. If I can get my hands on some chemical-free rose petals, I'll definitely try it.

Unknown June 4, 2010 at 3:16 AM  

Awesome! I love edible flowers and recently made some lilac syrup, I might have to see how it acts in sorbet!

GreenGirl June 4, 2010 at 5:06 PM  

In one word : amazing

Tomato in Tribeca June 4, 2010 at 5:51 PM  

So pretty!

Asha @ FSK June 5, 2010 at 2:53 AM  

Did I read that right??? You bought Roald Dahl's family recipes???!!!! WOW!!! That's fantastic. Can't wait to see more creations from the collections! Love this sorbet.. reminds me of sherbet from back home :)

Cristina June 5, 2010 at 6:40 AM  

Miriam - I enjoy your writing and sense of humor! Luv the smell of roses and could only imagine what it must taste like, but it's probably nothing like what it smells like. A lovely color the sorbet turned out to be. Lovely and delicate presentation.

A SPICY PERSPECTIVE June 7, 2010 at 6:42 AM  

Wow! What a lovely and flavorful treat! Beautiful photos!

Jonny June 7, 2010 at 2:53 PM  

isn't it fascinating where one finds sources of culinary inspiration? I had no idea Dahl had written a collection of recipes. I do remember enjoying reading his book "The Twits" as a boy, especially the part where Mrs. Twit prepares worms instead of spaghetti for her husband! But this is a truly terrific recipe - our roses are just about still at their peak too - what a fabulous idea and what an intriguing perfume the sorbet must have!

Homemade Heaven June 8, 2010 at 11:22 AM  

What a beautiful idea - I am defiantly going to make this for dessert when we have a curry evening, it will blow my guests away.

Mari Nuñez June 8, 2010 at 9:07 PM  

Beautiful and romantic dessert! I had a while I did not visit you, you added so much. Great Job! I will now follow the english version of your blog.

Un saludo de Rep.Dom. :)

tasteofbeirut June 10, 2010 at 8:23 PM  

I love your flowers and fruits interpretation; so poetic! I have always wanted to play in the kitchen with roses and this is making me enjoy the fun vicariously. Love the color of that sorbet too.

Unknown June 11, 2010 at 12:54 AM  

Wow!. I've got to try this just to see the colour change you spoke about. How intriguing

Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 11:31 AM  

Hello! This looks like gorgeous dessert! I'm originally from Poland and my family is used to collect wild rose petals and make amazingly fragrant jam from those. I love it mixed 1:1 with plum preserves - that makes the best jam ever! I have moved recently and I'm delighted cause just in front of my flat there are lots of wild rose bushes! I'm already collecting the recipes of what apart from the traditional family recipe to do with those (I just hope they won't be blooming during my holidays ;) ). I'll save your recipe for future, hope I'll give it a try later in the summer :)

MrsLavendula June 11, 2010 at 4:36 PM  

wow that looks awesome!

Miriam June 11, 2010 at 5:44 PM  

Denise: haha, you expressed my feelings accurately.
Mjosé: no sabe fuerte a rosas, si es eso lo que quieres saber, no resulta empalagoso en absoluto.
Val: me too, haha.
Belinda: the book is lovely!
Alina: well, in fact it's a collection of recipes written by his wife and him, but also friends and relatives.
Trix: really?? I love that, haha. Why are all things English so fascinating?
5 SF: well, it's really subtle...
TDD: it's intriguing...
Tofu: thanks!
Tania: it's a lovely dessert.
Lisa: the color is really very delicate and surprising.
HKC: something like that... yes. Haha, thanks!
Anna: lilac syrup! I have lilacs! Not in bloom right now though...
GG: thanks! ;-)
Tomato in: thanks!
Asha: yes!!!
Cristina: thanks!
Vincent: thanks!
ASP: thanks!
Jonny: I didn't have any idea either until a short time ago... it's a great inspiration.
Rose: wow, curry, great combo!
Mari: thanks!
ToB: thanks!
Wizzy: it's such a sight to see, haha.
NOP: wild roses!!! I would like to try it with wild roses...
ML: thanks!

Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 11:12 PM  

Most of the Rose ice cream and sorbet recipes I have seen use Rose water, so you get the flavour/scent but not the colour. Using roses and rose water, or rose syrup, would be a great way of getting the scent, flavour and your wonderful colour. (Alternatively rose syrup could simply be drizzled over.) Thank you!
'Meanderings through my Cookbook'

Marisa August 3, 2010 at 5:19 PM  

That Roald Dhal cookbook must be a great read! Off to google it now...

You've got a very entertaining writing style & amazing photos. Glad to have discovered your blog, it definitely won't be my only visit. :-)


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