April 13, 2010
These old varieties have all the fragrance and disease resistance that the new hybrids lack.
Here are two more little charmers- Cecile Brunner, cl., above and Excellenz von Schubert. Cecile is known as the sweetheart rose and has an excellent fragrance and perfectly pointed tight little flowers. She is destined to transform my plain jane garden shed into a thing of beauty.(Shown, second below, with Miss Minx last spring before I put in the hot colored bed) . Excellenz is a polyantha with beautiful bright green foliage that promises to be covered with lots and lots of small- bloomed sprays. Both are newbies but are both putting out strong canes and lots of buds.
A rose can engage all the senses. Sight, smell and touch certainly. But taste, too. Here is a simple recipe adapted from Lindsey Shere's "Chez Panisse Desserts" that I've served many times with much success. The key is using unsprayed roses that are very, very fragrant. Florist or supermarket roses are not what you want here. Rosewater helps bring the flavor forward . I prefer the Lebanese brands over the French kind as the scent is stronger.
Rose Petal Ice Cream
4-6 large highly perfumed roses
2 c. milk
2 c. cream
1 c. sugar
4 egg yolks
rosewater to taste
Remove the petals, reserving a few for garnish and infuse the rest with the cream, milk and sugar until you like the flavor.
The liquid should be warm but not boiling.
Whisk the yolks with some of the warm liquid and pour back into the pan. Cook over medium- low heat until the custard coats a spoon.
Strain into a bowl set in ice water to chill quickly. Add rosewater, a few drops at a time to taste.
Freeze according to your freezer's instructions. Pack into a container and freeze to a scoopable consistancy.
This is unique and lovely enough to be served solo, but is extra special paired with strawberries or blackberries and some simple cookies. Garnish with some of the reserved petals.Or to really impress, sugar the petals while the ice cream freezes. Nice.