Strawberry and Rose Snow Cone

Bıcı Bıcı

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It’s traditional to sprinkle rosewater on the hands of mourners at the wakes that take place forty days after burials in Turkey. For that reason, many Turks associate the smell of rosewater with mourning. In the Mediterranean town of Tarsus, near the Toros mountains, they associate rosewater with an iced treat that is sold from carts in the streets. There, for five months of the year, the bici bici hawkers would head up the hill and fill their carts with snow. Then they’d race back down, and for a lira coin you’d get a generous scoop of pudding and snow spread on a plate and soaked with a sweet syrup made from the petals of roses or pink tulips. Nowadays, bici bici is sold from refrigerated trucks all year round.

Ingredients

Rose Syrup

  • 1 organic pink rose, about 20 petals (or nonorganic rose petals thoroughly washed)
  • 2 teaspoons citric acid
  • 100 ml ( fl oz) grenadine (or raspberry cordial)

    Candied Rose Petals

  • 1 organic pink rose, about 20 petals (or nonorganic rose petals thoroughly washed)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 60 g ( oz/½ cup) icing (confectioners’) sugar

    Pudding

  • 60 g ( oz/½ cup) cornflour (cornstarch)

    Topping

  • 150 g ( oz/1 cup) strawberries
  • 100 g ( oz) icing (confectioners’) sugar

    Decoration

  • 2 tablespoons icing (confectioners’) sugar

Method

You could use a commercial rose syrup with this dish, but if you want to make your own, remove the petals from the pink rose and wash thoroughly. Sprinkle on the citric acid and place in a jar. Cover the petals with 200 ml (7 fl oz) of water, seal the jar tightly, and then rest in a sunny spot for 3 days.

Mix the grenadine with 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) of the homemade rosewater. Now you have the rose syrup—you need 50 ml (1⅔ fl oz) for the granita, 50 ml (1⅔ fl oz) for the pudding, and 100 ml (3½ fl oz) for the topping. Discard the petals. The remaining rosewater will keep in the fridge for 3 months, and you can sprinkle it on other puddings—or use it at wakes.

Now make the granita. Mix 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) of water with 50 ml (1⅔ fl oz) of the rose syrup in a small bowl, and then place in the freezer for 15 minutes. Remove the bowl and use a fork to break up any ice that has formed. Put the bowl back in the freezer and repeat the process three more times over the course of about 1 hour, to stop the granita from setting into a solid block. Once the granita has crystallised into pink ice fragments, freeze again for 2 hours.

Next, candy the rose petals. Cut the white parts off the petals. Lightly whisk the egg whites for 1 minute to make a smooth liquid. Brush each petal on both sides with egg white. Sprinkle both sides with the icing sugar.

Preheat the oven to 100°C (200°F/Gas ½).

Line a tray with baking paper. Place the petals on the tray and heat for 2 hours, with the oven door ajar. Remove the dried petals from the oven and leave to cool for 15 minutes.

Bring 625 ml (21½ fl oz/ cups) of water to the boil over medium heat. As it is heating, add the cornflour and whisk vigorously to combine. Continue to stir slowly for about 5 minutes, until the mixture thickens to a pudding-like consistency.

Put the remaining 150 ml (5 fl oz) of rose syrup into a squeeze bottle and squeeze about 50 ml (1⅔ fl oz) into swirls over the pudding. Line a dinner plate with baking paper and pour the pudding onto it, then refrigerate for 1 hour to set. Remove the pudding from the fridge, lift the pudding off the paper and cut into 2 cm (¾ in) cubes.

Wash the strawberries, cut off the stems and slice into quarters. Pat dry with paper towel and then sprinkle with the icing sugar.

Using four serving dishes, half-fill each dish with spoonfuls of the pudding. Add the sugared strawberries to the top of each pudding and then cover with granita. Shape the granita into a cone and decorate the base with five or six candied rose petals.

Sprinkle the icing sugar on top of each mound, to resemble a snowy peak, and then splash a little more rose syrup from the squeeze bottle around the granita for added colour, if you like. Serve immediately.