Rosewater, a popular ﬂavor found in many Middle Eastern dishes and desserts, is made—no surprise—by steeping rose petals in water. Its potent ﬂavor should be used judiciously, but in moderation provides a welcome and unexpected exotic dimension to many dishes. I like rosewater with grapefruit—the bright, summery ﬂavors complement (and can stand up to) each other. Wine adds complexity and depth and continues the rosy theme. The grapefruit peel performs double duty, ﬁrst cooked along with the other ingredients to draw out the lovely, tart citrus oils, then strained out and (while the mixture freezes) thinly sliced and coated in sugar to create a crunchy candied topping.
Makes about 1 quart.
- Combine 1 cup of the sugar, the wine, and grapefruit peel in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, about 6 minutes, and continue to cook until the alcohol scent subsides, about 4 more minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large pitcher or medium bowl and refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
- Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer over a large pitcher or another bowl. Reserve the grapefruit peel and set aside.
- Stir in the grapefruit juice and rosewater. At this point, if desired, the mixture can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
- Run the mixture through an ice cream machine according to the machine’s instructions. Transfer the sorbet to a freezer-safe container and freeze until solid, 3 to 4 hours.
- Meanwhile, pour the remaining ½ cup sugar into a small bowl. Thinly slice the reserved grapefruit peel and toss in the sugar to coat. Transfer to a parchment paper–lined plate to dry, about 2 hours. The candied grapefruit peel can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- Serve the sorbet topped with the candied grapefruit. The sorbet can be stored in the freezer for up to 1 week.
© Eat Cool: Good Food for Hot Days by Vanessa Seder ,Rizzoli New York, 2021. Photography © Stacey Cramp.