How to Dry Rose Petals and Boost Your Rhubarb
A rose by any other name would taste as sweet, to misquote Shakespeare. We have one rose bush in the garden, it’s in a shady spot and rarely produces more than two or three blooms. But what fabulous blooms they are. The rose is red with a heavy scent and it makes fantastic rose syrup. Now I have a dehydrator, I thought I’d have a go at drying rose petals this year.
When I’ve tried drying roses in the past, it’s been a bit hit and miss. They don’t always keep their colour and often go brown. They’re best dried in a dark and airy place, which I didn’t have – until recently. The Optimum P200 dehydrator not only keeps the contents in the dark, but it has a fan to keep the air circulating. See more about this handy piece of kit in my review. As the rose petals dried, the house was filled with the heady scent of high summer. CT thought it was like living in a Turkish Delight factory. When the roses had dried, not only had the colour not faded, but it had deepened quite considerably. I was surprised to find that despite losing much of the scent, the flavour was still prominent.
How to Dry Rose Petals
- Pick your rose when it’s just come into full bloom and is at its best – do make sure it has not been sprayed with any pesticides or other chemicals.
- Your rose needs to be dry when picked. Any damp is likely to make the petals rot and turn brown. Mid-morning is the optimum time when any dew has had a chance to evaporate, but before the scent dissipates.
- Pluck the petals carefully from the base of the rose.
- Lay the rose petals out in a singly layer on mesh trays, placing them well apart so the air can circulate freely.
- Put the trays in a dry, dark space which has plenty of air movement. A dehydrator is ideal for this. Leave for several hours, until the petals are crisp and have deepened in colour. I used my Optimum P200 dehydrator and put it on the lowest setting (35℃), the rose petals were ready after five hours.
- Place in an airtight glass jar and store in a cool dark cupboard.
- Ideal for decorating cakes and desserts, grinding into a powder to use as a flavouring or colouring or for making pot pourri.
I ground a few of my rose petals into powder and blitzed the rest with some golden granulated sugar to make rose sugar. I used both the powder and the sugar to boost a couple of rhubarb recipes I was making. The flavour of rose combines incredibly well with tart rhubarb I’ve found. The rose sugar added a touch of complexity and sophistication to this remarkable rhubarb cake and the rose powder gave a beautiful colour to the rhubarb and rose compote recipe below. I also scattered some of the powder over the accompanying rose cream.
- 2-4 sticks of rhubarb, depending on how big they are - cleaned and trimmed
- 2 tbsp rose syrup (or 1 tbsp rose sugar) or to taste
- ¼ tsp rose powder
- 150ml double cream
- 1 tbsp rose syrup
- a pinch of rose powder
- Cut the rhubarb into small batons, about 1 cm by 4 cm.
- Simmer the rhubarb in the rose syrup for 5 to 10 minutes or until just soft. If using rose sugar instead, you'll need to add 1 tbsp of water. Add the rose powder a couple of minutes or so before the rhubarb's finished cooking.
- Serve with a goodly dollop of rose cream.
- Whip the cream and rose syrup in a bowl until soft peaks form. Be careful not to over whip.
- Spoon into a serving dish and dust with the rose powder.
Other recipes using dried rose petals you might like
- Pistachio, cardamom and rose financiers via Baking Queen 74
- Raw chocolates via Tin and Thyme
- Rose and pistachio granola via Rough Measures
- Rose and vanilla stewed apples via Bite-Sized Thoughts
- Rose cupcakes via Tin and Thyme
- Orange and Rose Petal Biscuits via Green Gourmet Giraffe
I’m a Froothie ambassador and this post contains affiliate links. Buying through a link will not cost you any more, but I will get a small commission. This helps keep Tin and Thyme blythe and blogging. You can find out what other recipes I’ve made using Froothie equipment on my Full on Froothie page. Opinions are, as always, my own.