Ukrainian Rose Petal Preserves

I just love love love roses! They are beautiful, they smell wonderful, and I learned they taste great!

My mother found this recipe in a really old Ukrainian cookbook that she brought with her from Ukraine. It’s a fragrant and delicate preserve with four simple ingredients. It’s really easy to make. Give it a chance and you’ll be surprised at how delicious roses can be.

Ingredients:

1 Cup rose petals

*For me it was about 11 roses, make sure to press down or squish the petals down so it’s truly 1 cup. They also need to be organic, home grown, fragrant roses. The long stemmed roses from the store will not work.

2 Cups sugar

Juice of 1/2 large lemon

1 Cup water

Remove the petals from the rose. I found that my moms roses had a few pincher bugs hiding inside. DO NOT COOK WITH BUGS. I found that shaking them out did the trick. Once I took off the petals I examined each one to make sure it did not have any defects or bugs on it. After 11 roses I finally had my 1 cup.

I also had a few rejects.

Remove the yellow end or the part where the rose petal connects to the flower.

Wash the rose petals with water.

Combine water with sugar in a medium sauce pan. Turn the burner to medium high heat. Stir frequently until the sugar is completely dissolved. The water will become clear. Add lemon juice and stir.

Add all of the rose petals and lower the heat to low.

Le the rose petal water come to a slow boil.  The rose petals will slowly start to become clear.

Stir frequently. Cook for 1 hour.

I cooked on low heat for about 1 hour 15 minutes and that extra 15 minutes made the rose petals more tender and the preserve thicker. If you have the patience use that extra 15 minutes.

Rose petals will become clear and sauce will be thick. Don’t worry if you see some color from the rose petals. Even when you place them in your jar it will continue cooking.

Because I knew that my jar will be empty within a week (and it was), I didn’t take any extra measures with jarring my preserve. I simply transferred from saucepan to jar with a table-spoon and closed it until the preserve cooled. Of course I managed to get some in my mouth and burn my tounge (it was worth it).

It is so delicious. It works great with slices of baguette or french bread or toast. Or if you’re like me I just ate by the spoonful.

Oh sooo good!

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Easy Cheese Danish Remix

I love watching the Food Network. One day I watched Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa make these amazing cheese danish’s. Since then I have made them a few times but this time I decided to put a Thanksgiving twist on them by using pumpkin! I am not a big fan of pumpkin pie. I do however, love pumpkin cheesecake. For this danish I created the cheese filling to imitate a pumpkin cheesecake filling. They are amazing! Here’s the original recipe. And here is what you need for the remix.

8 Ounces cream cheese room temp

2 Tbsp ricotta cheese

1/3 Cup sugar

1/2 Tsp salt

1 Egg, 1 egg yolk

1 Tsp vanilla extract

1/4 Cup pumpkin puree

1/4 Tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 Tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp sour cream

2 Sheets puff pastry

Preheat oven to 400* F. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper. Make sure puff pastry sheets have defrosted according to packaging directions.

Cream together cream cheese and sugar. You can use an electric mixer on low speed or use spatula and do it by hand. Make sure cream cheese is soft enough that it wont leave cream cheese lumps in the filling. Add the rest of the ingredients withholding the egg and egg yolk. Combine everything and taste. It may not be sweet enough for you so add sugar little by little until desired sweetness. I like the filling a little sweeter than what the recipe calls for. Finally add in the egg and egg yolk. Mix together but do not whip.

Follow the original recipe directions :

“Unfold 1 sheet of puff pastry onto a lightly floured board and roll it slightly with a floured rolling pin until it’s a 10 by 10-inch square. Cut the sheet into quarters with a sharp knife. Place a heaping tablespoon of cheese filling into the middle of each of the 4 squares. Brush the border of each pastry with egg wash and fold 2 opposite corners to the center, brushing and overlapping the corners of each pastry so they firmly stick together. Brush the top of the pastries with egg wash. Place the pastries on the prepared sheet pan. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and refrigerate the filled Danish for 15 minutes.

Bake the pastries for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and brown. Serve warm.”

* I like to sprinkle the danish lightly with sugar before baking. They become even sweeter and look really pretty.

Mmmm…sooo good! Enjoy!