Recipes for the red, red rose



  • 2 Cornish game hens, at room temperature (or 6 large chicken thighs)
  • 1 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Herbed couscous (see note)
  • Glaze and sauce
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses, divided
  • 1/4 cup honey, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rose petal preserves
  • Pomegranate seeds, in season

Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the backbone from each game hen with a pair of kitchen shears. Flatten the birds, breast side facing up, with the palm of your hand. (Or place chicken thighs on the rack.)

Generously rub the skin with softened butter and season with salt and pepper. Pierce the skin in 4 or 5 places with a needle or the tip of a sharp knife to prevent bubbling. Place the hens (or thighs) on a large (about 19-by-13-inches) wire rack set over an equally large roasting- or jelly-roll pan lined with metal foil.

To make the glaze, combine 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon melted butter and 2 teaspoons soy sauce.

Roast the hens for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and brush generously with glaze. Return pan to the oven for 15 minutes longer until the birds are golden brown and juices run clear. If the birds are large, glaze once more and continue baking 5 to 10 minutes. Birds should be well-browned.

While birds roast, make sauce. Combine remaining pomegranate molasses and honey with rose petal preserves in a small bowl.

Remove hens from oven to a cutting board. Split each hen in half down the breastbone with a chef's knife or kitchen shears.

To serve: Place one half bird on a bed of herbed couscous (see below), drizzle with the pomegranate-rose sauce and garnish the plate with freshly plucked organic rose petals. Toss a scattering of pomegranate seeds over the dish, if they are available.

Serves 4.

-- Marlene Parrish

Note: Prepare a 10-ounce box of couscous according to package directions using chicken broth and butter. Before serving, stir in 1 tablespoon minced chives, 1 teaspoon orange zest and a pinch of cinnamon.



Rose cream is versatile. Pipe it into lady locks shells. Spread it over a baked pastry shell, top the cream with raspberries, then glaze the berries with melted and cooled rose preserves. Make a pouf of rose cream in a wine glass, topped with sweetened raspberries and a drizzle of cassis. Sandwich store-bought, mini-meringue kisses with a generous dab of rose cream.

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Rose syrup to taste
  • Barely a drop of red food coloring, if needed

Combine the cream cheese, mascarpone, sugar and enough heavy cream to make a piping or creamy consistency. Flavor lightly with syrup and barely tint with food coloring. Makes about 2 cups.

-- Adapted from Lydie Marshall



  • 1 sheet puff pastry (1/2 of a 17-ounce box) Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry
  • 1 recipe Rose Cream, or rose flavored whipped cream or buttercream
  • Pistachio nuts, finely and evenly chopped
  • Confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Open out sheet of puff pastry. Cut it into 3 long, wide pieces. Cut each piece in half crosswise, and cut each rectangle into 4 or 5 strips. Wind the pastry strips around metal lady lock forms, and place seam side down on a baking sheet. Bake about 10 minutes or until puffed, crisp and barely golden.

Before serving, pipe rose cream into the pastry. Dip ends into nuts and lightly shower with confectioners sugar. Makes about 30 lady locks.

Note: Find lady locks forms at Frozen Eggs and Fruit Co. on Boggs Avenue in Mount Washington. The store also has 5-by-5-inch squares of puff pastry made especially for lady locks; each square is cut into 6 strips. A 12-pack is $6.

-- Marlene Parrish



For the cake

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 14 tablespoons baker's sugar or superfine sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1/4 whole cardamom seeds, ground (removed from about 7 green cardamom pods)

For the filling

  • 1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 5 tablespoons rosehip preserves
  • 2 teaspoons rose syrup (optional, for tinting)

For the frosting

  • 1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rose water

For the garnish

  • Crystallized petals from 2 food-safe organic roses
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios

For cake:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spritz two 8-inch-diameter cake pans with baking spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper and spritz again. Sift flour, 7 tablespoons baker's sugar, baking powder and salt into large bowl. Whisk yolks and next 4 ingredients in small bowl until smooth. Add yolk mixture to dry ingredients; whisk until smooth.

Beat egg whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 7 tablespoons baker's sugar; beat until whites resemble thick marshmallow fluff. Fold whites into batter in 3 additions. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until cakes are golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in pans for at least 15 minutes, then turn out onto racks and peel off parchment. Cool completely. (May be made 1 day ahead and stored, wrapped and at room temperature.)

For filling:

Beat 1 cup heavy cream until soft peaks just begin to form; add rosehip preserves 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until just incorporated. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons rose syrup to tint slightly pink.

For frosting:

Beat 1 cup heavy cream until peaks form; add 2/3 cup confectioners sugar and 1 teaspoon rose water and beat until just incorporated.

To assemble:

Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on platter. Spread rosehip preserves filling evenly across top of cake layer. Top with the second cake layer, flat side down, and press down gently. Spread rose water frosting on top of cake just to the edges. (The sides of the cake will remain bare.) Chill at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours. Before serving, garnish with crystallized rose petals around the cake's base and sprinkle pistachios on top. Makes 10 servings.

For Crystallized Rose Petals

  • 1 large open, organic pink rose
  • 1 egg white, slightly broken up
  • 3 1/2 ounces superfine sugar

Gently remove petals from rose. Using a fine paintbrush, brush both sides of each petal carefully and evenly with egg white. Toss petals one at a time in the sugar until completely covered.

Gently lift out petals and leave to dry on a tray lined with baking parchment, until they are firm enough to pick up. A warm place is best, near a radiator or on the of the stove if the oven is on.

-- Adapted by Alisa Blatter from Bon Appetit, June 2005


PG tested

You'll never drink another cosmopolitan once you sip this cocktail. The crystal clear Manhattan with a subtle, almost undefinable bouquet and finish goes down oh so easy. Better make up a shaker.

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce rose syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Stir well in a mixing glass filled with ice. Strain into cocktail glass. Add lemon twist if desired.

-- Alisa Blatter


PG tested

  • 1 sheet puff pastry ( 1/2 of a 17-ounce box) Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry
  • Confectioners' sugar
  • Sliced almonds
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Rose syrup, or rose water
  • Raspberries
  • Raspberry sauce or syrup, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Open out the sheet of puff pastry. Cut it into 3 long pieces. Cut each long piece into 4 rectangles. Place the rectangles on a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Poke (dock) each piece all over with the tines of a fork.

Sift a light dusting of confectioners sugar over the pastry. Strew or arrange a few sliced almonds over the sugared tops. The sugar will melt and secure the nuts to the surface. (If you add too many almonds, the slices will weigh down the pastry and it will not rise very high.) Bake for about 10 minutes or until just golden. Cool on a rack. When ready to serve, split the pastry in half.

Using a hand-held electric beater, softly whip cream. Add rose syrup drop by drop to flavor and color. If using rosewater, add sugar to taste and food coloring in the tiniest amounts.

Split the pastry carefully. Spread whipped cream on the bottom half of a pastry rectangle. Place as many berries on the cream as will fit snugly. Top with more whipped cream. Place on the top of the pastry. Add a final fluff of whipped cream and a few raspberries and dust lightly with confectioners sugar.

Swirl raspberry sauce or syrup on a plate, if desired, and place the Napoleon on top. Repeat for remaining desserts. Makes a dozen.

-- Marlene Parrish

First Published May 8, 2008 4:00 AM


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