Roselle, Serrano Chiles & Apple Cobbler

When I was a kid growing up in India roselle grew wild like weeds in the garden. We used to make jam from the bright red calyces.

roselle

roselle

roselle

 

Roselle is a variety of hibiscus (different from ornamental hibiscus), and although it is sometimes referred to as “hibiscus flower” the part to which I am referring is not a flower at all but the sepals forming the calyx which encases the seed pod after the flower has dropped off. The dried calyces, known as “flor de Jamaica,” make a delicious tea or refreshing cold beverage. The leaves of the plant, known as gongura in South India, are also edible and are used in curries and pickles.

roselle

 

I have grown roselle a few times here in the MidAtlantic region but the plants never produced flowers. I assumed that the growing season was too short. This year I made another attempt, and this time they have produced a few flowers and the subsequent calyces. There are only a few scrawny plants so there isn’t enough roselle to make jam, but I thought they might cook up well with apples.

Roselle, like cranberry or rhubarb, is very tart and needs a bit of sweetener. I peeled the calyces from a handful of seedpods and cooked them in a small pot with some turbinado sugar.

IMG_1991

roselle

roselle

roselle

 

To the simmering roselle I added a Honey Crisp and a Granny Smith apple. As a spur of the moment impulse I also added a couple of red Serrano chiles.

roselle

roselle

 

I decided to use the apples, Serrano and roselle to make a cobbler. The topping was made by mixing coconut oil, an egg, pinch of salt, vanilla extract and a little turbinado sugar with self rising flour.

roselle

roselle

roselle

 

The cobbler exceeded my expectations in every way. The best part was the perfect amount of heat from the Serrano chiles.

roselle

roselle



 

 


5 thoughts on “Roselle, Serrano Chiles & Apple Cobbler

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