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Rose of Damascus recipe

The Lebanese Recipes Kitchen (The home of delicious Lebanese Recipes and Middle Eastern food recipes) invites you to try Rose of Damascus recipe. Enjoy quick and easy Middle Eastern food recipes and learn how to make Rose of Damascus.

Makes 6
Skill level Mid

Greg Malouf & Lucy Malouf


Turkish delight ice-cream 

625 ml (21 fl oz) milk
625 ml (21 fl oz) thickened cream (35% butterfat)
320 g (11¼ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
10 egg yolks
80 ml (3½ fl oz) rosewater
splash of "real red" food colouring 

Filo pastry flowers

10 sheets filo pastry
200 g (7 oz) clarified butter, melted
100 g (3½ oz) icing (confectioner’s) sugar
100 ml (3½ fl oz) honey, warmed 

Toffeed strawberries

1 punnet strawberries
caster (superfine) sugar
dried rose petals (optional)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


To make the ice-cream, put the milk and cream in a large, heavy-based pan and heat gently. Meanwhile, put the sugar and egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and whisk by hand until thick and pale. Pour on the hot cream and whisk in quickly. Tip the custard mix back into the pan and heat gently until it thickens to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat immediately and cool in a sink of iced water. Stir to help it cool down quickly. When cool, stir in the rosewater and enough food colouring to tint it a pale pink.

Pour the chilled mixture into an ice-cream machine and churn, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, until nearly set. Line a 2 cm (¾ in) baking tray with plastic wrap. Tip the ice-cream into the tray and smooth the surface. Transfer to the freezer until ready to assemble the dessert. To prepare the filo pastry flowers, preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F). Line and butter 2 baking trays, each about 25 cm x 30 cm (10 in x 12 in).

Lay a sheet of filo on your work surface and brush liberally with clarified butter and dust with icing sugar. Repeat with 2 more layers, drizzling a little warm honey on the third sheet of filo. Continue stacking and brushing with 2 further layers of pastry. On the top (5th) layer, brush with butter, but do not sprinkle on icing sugar.

Repeat this process with the remaining 5 sheets of filo pastry. You should now have 2 stacks of filo pastry, each comprising 5 pastry layers.

Use an 8 cm (3½ in) flower-shaped pastry cutter to cut 12 flowers from each pastry stack — 24 in total. Carefully transfer the pastry "flowers" to the prepared baking trays and lay a sheet of baking parchment on top of each tray. Weight down lightly with another tray, which will keep the flowers flat as they cook. Bake for 8–10 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

To prepare the toffeed strawberries, preheat the grill to its highest temperature. Hull the strawberries and cut them in half. Dust them all over with caster sugar then place them under the grill until the sugar caramelises, turning once. Alternatively, use a blow torch.

When ready to assemble, remove the ice-cream from the freezer. Turn the block out onto a chopping board and peel away the plastic wrap. Use the 8 cm (3½ in) flower-shaped pastry cutter to cut out 12 flowers of ice-cream.

Place a pastry flower on each plate and top with a flower of ice-cream. Add another pastry flower and ice-cream flower, and finish with a top layer of pastry. Dust each Rose of Damascus with icing sugar and serve with the toffeed strawberies, and dried rose petals if you’re feeling particularly exotic.

Recipe from Saha by Greg and Lucy Malouf, with photographs by Matt Harvey.

More from the Lebanese Recipes Kitchen:

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Sesame kaak
Pistachio Maamoul
Date stuffed semolina cookies (Ma'amoul) 
Ghraibeh with Pistachio

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