Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook
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Every sweet-scented rose tells from its heart
the secrets of heaven and earth.
Rose Fudge
Total time: 1-½ hours
¾ cup shelled pistachios
2 cups (16 oz.) heavy cream
3 cups sugar
3 tbsp. light corn syrup
⅛ tsp. salt
6 level tbsp. rose petal jam
1 tbsp. rosewater
⅛ tsp. lemon extract (optional)

Blanch the shelled pistachios in boiling water for 1 minute, then drain them and pour them onto a dish towel. Close up the towel and rub so that the skins come off. Place the pistachios on a tray and put into a regular oven or toaster oven for about 5 minutes, until much of the absorbed moisture has evaporated. Pour them onto a new, dry dishtowel, rub them again to remove any remaining skins, then chop them coarsely. Spread them across the bottom of a large Pyrex baking dish and set aside.

Combine cream, sugar, corn syrup and salt in a heavy-bottomed, straight-sided three-quart pot over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan; make sure that the bulb does not quite touch the bottom of the pan. Without further stirring, allow the mixture to come to a boil and its temperature to rise to exactly 240F. This will take about 15 minutes. If you do not have a thermometer, you may test the mixture by dropping a spoonful into a glass of cold water; if it forms a soft ball, it is ready.

Turn off the heat under the pot and let it rest for a moment. Drop spoonfuls of rose petal jam on top of the pistachios in the Pyrex dish. Pour the hot fudge mixture over the nuts and jam, without scraping the sides of the pot. (The mixture that clings to the sides has reached a higher temperature than the rest of the fudge; scraping it in will spoil the creamy texture of the finished product.) Sprinkle lemon extract and rosewater over the fudge mixture, and put the candy thermometer back into it.

Allow the fudge to cool until it reaches 110F, the temperature of a comfortably hot bath. Using a flat plastic scraper or a wooden spoon, beat the fudge vigorously until it loses its gloss, about 5 minutes. (Beating the fudge before it has cooled sufficiently will result in formation of large sugar crystals which also spoil the texture.) Gather the fudge together into a ball and knead it to distribute the nuts evenly. Roll it into acorn-sized balls and place each one into a paper candy cup. (These may be found at craft supply shops.)

The texture of this fudge improves with a day's rest in the refrigerator. Its flavor is fullest when it is served at room temperature, within a week of preparation; after that time the rose fragrance diminishes considerably.

If you cannot find or make rose petal jam, you may instead add an extra tablespoon of rose water to the pan. Such a fudge will have a firmer texture and may be pressed into a lightly buttered 7x11" pan, allowed to set for an hour, then cut into squares.