Thursday, 20 October 2016

Rose Petal Sorbet

Roald Dahl?  Rose petal sorbet?  What do these things have in common?  Well, let me tell you about a marvellous cookbook I have, called Memories with Food at Gipsy House by Felicity and Roald Dahl.  I have long been a fan of Mr Dahl's books and Mr P. is a huge fan of Matilda - the book and the film.  And yes we have even seen the musical (also big Tim Minchin fans.)

Years ago we lived next door to an old couple who had heaps of rosebushes in their garden.  She had to go into a Home and he took off for a long trip around Australia (he was 80!). Well, those roses were sweet smelling, very colourful and very tempting.  So I would grab my basket and go a-gathering roses in the dark.  This amazing sorbet was a mystery to dinner guests who could hardly believe it was made with real roses, rather than by artificial means.


550 mls water

225g. caster sugar

zest and juice of 1 lemon

4 large handfuls of organic fragrant rose petals - use various colours if you wish tho keep them mainly red or pink

2 tsp glycerine

1/4 tsp rosewater (very optional)


Place the water and sugar in a small saucepan and stir together

Bring the water to a slow boil while you stir till the sugar dissolves

Boil for 5 minutes at a gentle boil then take off the heat

Add the lemon zest (not the juice at this point) and rose petals to the syrup and mash it down with a potato masher

It turns a disgusting colour like brown or blue or green - don't panic!  this is normal

Tip it into a bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave overnight

You will be horrified when you check it the next day!  but never fear, just pour it into a cloth-lined colander or strainer (I used a brand new, rinsed out Chux cloth) and press down to get all the syrup out of the ghastly mix

Now add the glycerine and then the lemon juice et voilà you have a beautiful bright pink liquid

Pour this into a metal tray (a lamington tray is good) and place in the freezer for a couple of hours

Take it out and fork it all up to break up any ice crystals

Put it back in the freezer and do this once or twice more - the mixture will not freeze hard due to the glycerine


Glycerine may not be easy to come by; hubby found it in the medical section of the supermarket tho you can also get it at the chemist

Use the most highly scented roses you can find tho you can add a tiny bit of rosewater like I did as my carpet roses are only slightly fragrant

If you think the amounts are odd in this recipe it is because it is a UK recipe so I have adjusted to make it a bit less weird - as in, one UK pint is 568 mls!

You could throw the sorbet into a food processor once or twice rather than run a fork thru it if you want it more aerated and fluffy

gathering rose petals from the garden 


stirring the syrup before boiling

boil/simmer rapidly for 5 minutes 

add the lemon zest

and mashing the rose petals 

getting ready to strain the petals the next day   

crumbs!  looking murky   

yep they are clouds reflected in the syrup 

a few hours later

give it a good forking  

gloriously pink and fragrant if a bit melted

Before my rosebush went nuts with flowers (this is the first time ever it has had enough blooms at once) I had Googled rose petals and found you can buy them from a rose farm.  Who knew this was a thing?  Apparently people buy them to strew around the bridal bed etc. But oh my they are so expensive.  O
ne last thing; if you ever get a chance head to the Roald Dahl museum in Great Missenden UK where he lived for 36 years.  I am saving my pennies as we speak:=)

File:The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre - - 1264147.jpg
Image by David Hillas

they look lovely together

my rosy doodle again 


  1. Wow this looks sensational Sherry! Look at that colour and it's all natural too! :D It's times like this where I wish I had a garden (and that I could actually do gardening) :P

    1. i was so pleased that i had enough roses at one time lorraine. this is a first! i adore the colour and taste of this.

  2. How lovely! Rose petal sorbet. Fabulous! I love rose anything.
    Have a super weekend Sherry.
    :-) Mandy xo

    1. Me too Mandy. And violet. That is a big fave of mine. Thanks for visiting.

  3. Sherry that sounds so wonderful. I love everything that tastes of roses.

    1. Me too absolutely. I love rose and I adore violet anything:)

    2. That's funny, I have never tasted anything violet flavoured.

    3. My fave French lollies are violet flavoured and I can't resist violet chocs. I also have a bottle of violet liqueur which is gorgeous.

  4. That is so cool Sherry. So beautiful and delicate.

  5. Sounds divine. Thanks for the heads up about the museum!

    1. I just have to rob a bank to get myself there now:)


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