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An oldie but goldie about to come into season
The first jars of preserves this year start being made in May and June, when the first fruits start appearing. Popular preservers are strawberries, cherries, and sour cherries, but lately more exotic varieties appeared, such as elder flowers or dandelion flowers. However, a rarer preserve, and oldie but goldie, is rose petal preserve. Rose petals can be the base for a highly aromatic balsamic vinegar, but they also yield a preserve with a very special flavor. This only works with the petals of very specific cultivars of rose, and the one grown in Romania is the so-called Rose of Damascus (Rosa Damascena). Combined with milk, flour, and egg yolks you can make rose cream.
ROSE PETAL CREAM
You need one liter of milk, 200 g of rose petals, 100 g of sugar, 100 g of almonds, 4 tablespoons of flour, and 4 egg yolks. In a large bowl, mix a little milk into the flour, and homogenize. Separately, wisk the egg yolks, and mix in some milk. Bring the milk to a boil with the rose petals and the crushed almonds, then add the flour and the yolks, then leave to simmer, mixing continuoulsy until the liquid reduces to a creamy consistence. Place into serving bowls, and refrigerate until it firms up and is ready to serve.
ROSE PETAL PRESERVE
For the preserve, we need half a kilo of rose petals, one kg of sugar, and the juice of one lemon. Pick off the white part at the base of the petals, then wash and leave to drain. Bring a liter of water to a boil, then add the sugar to reduce to a syrup. Add the rose petals, and continue boiling on medium heat. Skim periodically the foam on top. Add the lemon juice and continue boiling until the preserve gains your desired consistence. You can check for cosistency by dripping a few drops on a saucer, and if it sticks, it should be the proper consistency. Pour into jars, which, after cooling, can be sterilized by boiling them on the stovetop, or by placing them in a deeper oven vessel with water, placing them in the cold oven, then turning the oven to mediu.
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