Recently, I was interviewed for a Time Out article about city foraging. As the journalist and I discussed the merits and perils of city foraging, I mentioned how underused roses are. Very soon Amsterdam should be dripping with fragrant blooming roses. Most petals simply tumble to the ground and at times make a soggy rotting mess on pavements. I urge you to find roses in healthy locations, ask the owners if they would mind you harvesting very sparingly and get ready for lots of rose tinted recipes!
Many Roses will bloom by mid May and the season will hopefully last right throughout the summer months. Our rooftop Rambling Rector is not in good shape, following the late cold weather, so I’m on the hunt for local neglected roses.
Rose petal butter
Here are 3 methods, all make a fragrant, eye catching and somewhat romantic butter. The first method are very simple, the third method is traditional but well worth the extra effort.
Roses from a florist are not to be eaten as they will surely have been sprayed with chemicals. Likewise, roses from sprayed gardens must be avoided, as should those from unknown, unclean or suspect sources or those with no scent. If you gather petals in the morning, just after the dew has evaporated, you will have petals of a higher oil content and these will make the best butter.
Method 1. Simply chop, or tear, upto a cup full of fragrant rose petals and mix throughout a block of softened butter. It can be mixed until the butter becomes creamy. Shape the butter – petal mix as you wish before refrigerating for about 2 hours prior to use. and leave in refridgerator for two hours, prior to use.
Method 2. Allow a block of butter to soften so that you can shape it as desired. Cover it with lots of petals and place it in a glass container. It should ideally be completely drowned in petals, beneath it, all around it – really packed in petals. Leave the container for a good 24 hours, to allow the fragrance to penetrate the butter. To use, remove the butter from most or all of the petals, use petals as mentioned in 3 below and refrigerate your butter if you wish.
Method 3. Over the bottom of a glass jar, spread a layer of softened butter then cover it with a layer of washed and blotted-dry whole rose petals. Place a cut to size sheet of baking parchment over the petal layer and cover that with another layer of butter and a subsequent layer of rose petals. Make several layers in this way before sealing. Store for several days, at room temperature or in a refrigerator. Finally, separate the paper, petals and butter. Reuse or recycle the paper, shape the butter as desired, set the petals aside to use a garnish or sandwich filling. Butter and petal quantities, required for this method, depend upon how much you would like to make or have access to.
Rose butter is versatile, you may like to try it on sandwiches, hot breads, crumpets or cakes.
I posted a Rose cupcakes recipe last year, more rose recipes to follow over the coming months.
(There are no photos for this posting as I didn’t take a photo, the last time I made rose butter. When the rose season arrives, I’ll add a few.)