Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Surprise Ingredient Roses!

Summer is the time for roses. They grace our gardens with their delicate blooms and  sweet perfumes,However those beautiful buds can also be used in dessert as well and not just decorating cakes and cupcakes. Their essence can add a certain gourmet quality to an ordinary summer tart..

t was the highlight of Melissa Clark's A Good Appetite column in yesterday's New York Times Dining section. .Adding roses or any flower to food is nothing new.It was first done and was a huge success in medieval times and really became a chef's must during both the Renaissance and the 18th Century. Some Middle Eastern dessert recipes, especially Syrian and Armenian ones feature rose water in their puddings and baklavas. Nowadays flowers are used to spruce up salads and they're mostly begonias and sparklers(which look like snapdragons).

Ms. Clark uses the petals in a strawberry topped tart's cream filling. She simmers them with milk to extract their essence and then lets them stand for an hour. The best roses to use are th e most fragrant such as cabbage roses or American Beauties. A tea rose would be too delicate to try in this. The petals are then discarded and the liquid is added to a rich custardy mix of five egg yolks and whole milk along with flour. It's a surprise she doesn't use whole cream to make it really rich but the milk does work. She places the mixture in a almond cookie crust and tops with fresh strawberries. The flavors form the rose to the almonds to the berries work perfectly together.

Roses are not just for gracing a summer garden. They can grace the flavor of a delicate and delicious summer tart with their sweet , rich essence. The blooms are a perfect addition to any light summer dessert, giving it a rich and unusual flavor.

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