Citizens! Your beloved and supremely talented leader – the benevolent tyrant TFD! – has returned to his roots in Mother Russia! Yes, I have just landed in Moscow and am very excited indeed to see the wonders of this magnificent city, still shrouded in snow a week after the worst single-day snowstorm in Russian history! …but enough about my travels, let us discuss today’s mighty recipe!
Varenye or varenie (Russian: варенье, Belarusian: варэнне/варэньне, Ukrainian: варення) is a traditional whole-fruit preserve, widespread in Eastern Europe (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus), as well as the Baltic region. It is made by cooking berries, other fruits, or more rarely nuts, vegetables, or flowers, in sugar syrup. In some traditional Russian recipes, other sweeteners such as honey or treacle are used instead of or in addition to sugar.
Varenye is similar to jam except the fruits are not macerated, and no gelling agent is added. It is characterized by a thick but transparent syrup having the natural color of the fruits.
Some fruits with tough skins require cooking for many hours, while others are suitable for making “five-minute varenye” (Russian: варенье-пятиминутка, varenye-pyatiminutka). For the latter, dry sugar is spread over raw fruit in layers and left for several hours to steep into the fruit. The resulting mixture is then heated for just about five minutes.
The most popular types of varenye are made from locally available berries and fruits, such as sour cherries, strawberries, raspberries, apricots and apples. In general, virtually any kind of fruit, as well as some culinary vegetables, nuts, pine cones, and rose petals are used.
I am especially fond of the Estonian spirit Vana Tallinn which is – you guessed it – spiced rum! Given the fact that Estonia was once part of the Soviet Union, it seems apropos to use it in this recipe. It is, of course, impossible to find in the United States or outside the Baltics, so try Captain Morgan’s instead if you can’t procure it.
Vana Tallinn (Estonian for Old Tallinn) is a dark brown and robust rum-based liqueur developed in the 1960s and produced by the Estonian company Liviko. The liqueur is sweet with a hint of Jamaican rum, flavored by various natural spices, including citrus oil, cinnamon and vanilla.
Vana Tallinn is widely available in all of the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), as well as Ukraine, Russia and Finland. Although it is advertised as an ancient and traditional Estonian drink, the production actually started only in September 1960.
This is a very simple Russian recipe and one you are not only assured to enjoy, my Citizens – it is not very difficult to make either! 😀
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
The Hirshon Russian Rose and Rum Jam – лепесток розы варенье с ромом
- Total Time: 0 hours
- 300g rose petals (unsprayed damask rose, dog rose or similar, are best – be SURE they are unsprayed, do not use commercially-bought roses for this!)
- 600g sugar
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp Vana Tallinn (preferred) or spiced dark rum (TFD Change – original was dark rum)
- Pick over the rose petals, removing any debris, leaves, insects etc then trim off the petal bases (these can be bitter). Coarsely chop half the petals in a food processor then add 200g sugar and half the lemon juice and rum. Blend to mix then add a further 200g of sugar.
- Mix for 1 minute in the processor, scraping the sides of the food processor bowl. Turn the resultant mixture into a large bowl then repeat the process with the remaining ingredients.
- Pack the resultant mixture into small jars (about 250g), rapping the jars lightly on a work surface to remove any air bubbles. Cover with tight-fitting lids then store in a cool place. Allow to mature for at least 2 months before use. If used sparingly the preserve will last for up to a year (which is why small jars are a good idea).
- Prep Time: 0 hours
- Cook Time: 0 hours
- Category: Recipes
- Calories: 612.01 kcal
- Sugar: 150.06 g
- Sodium: 5.61 mg
- Fat: 0.1 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.03 g
- Carbohydrates: 153.78 g
- Fiber: 0.41 g
- Protein: 0.93 g
- Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
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