Sunday, July 29, 2012

SOB Dinner - Lovely Rose Water Rhubarb Sorbet

"What a lovely thing a rose is!" 

He walked past the couch to the open window and held up the drooping stalk of a moss-rose, looking down at the dainty blend of crimson and green. It was a new phase of his character to me, for I had never before seen him show any keen interest in natural objects.
    "There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as in religion," said he, leaning with his back against the shutters. "It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner. Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its colour are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers."

Ah, my favorite quote in the Canon! From The Naval Treaty.  I love the little glimpse it gives us into Holmes' soul.  

So, I knew I wanted to include roses in the meal.  Especially since Marge is an expert in heritage and antique roses.  I'd found a recipe for a rose cream that used rose water, so I experimented with it, thinking I'd create a rose parfait with fruit for dessert.  It was good, but in my opinion, the rose water was pretty overwhelming.  But I kept it in the back of my mind as I searched for a new recipe.

Originally, I'd planned on using an Earl Grey tea sorbet.  But a little over a week ago, I had an aha! moment, and realized I knew what the perfect dessert would be - Napoleons.  After all, we had six people, which meant six Napoleons!  It was just too good to pass up.  I could use a rose water flavored cream in the Napoleons, but wanted to add brandy to dessert, so I nixed that idea.  That meant I had to fit the rose water in somewhere else.

In my search for desserts using rose water, I'd found a few sorbets.  The one with rhubarb seemed appropriate for the palate cleanser, so that is where I decided to use my rose water.

Lovely Rose Water and Rhubarb Sorbet

Lovely rose color as well!

4-5 rhubarb stalks
1-2 cups sugar
rose water to taste
2-3 tablespoons cream

Bear with me.  I developed this recipe myself, and I don't always measure, I cook by the seat of my pants.  This is one of those recipes.

Wash and chop rhubarb into 1 inch pieces.  Place in a saucepan with a little water and cook until rhubarb is soft and falls apart easily.  Add sugar to taste.  You want it to be a bit tart.  Allow to cool.  You should have about 3 cups of stewed rhubarb.

Place stewed rhubarb in a blender and blend until smooth.  Add rose water to taste.  I added between 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of rose water, which was enough to give the flavor without being overwhelming.  But you might like a bit more.  You want the flavors to be balanced.  You lose some flavor when you freeze something, so keep that in mind as well.  Add the cream at the last.  The cream helps to round out the flavor a bit.

Pour rhubarb mixture into a shallow pan and freeze to semi solid.  Return mixture to the blender, and blend until creamy.  Return to freezer and freeze until firm.

Tomorrow, the main course.

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