The years I spent summer in a microclimate, I baked apricot upside-down cake in comfort while the rest of the country fled to Dairy World and frozen custard stands. Even with temperatures in the nineties and low one hundreds, many pastry people- including those like me without central air- are committed? passionate? goofy? enough to turn up the oven, heating their kitchens to three-fifty or higher (this is pie season, after all).
However, at the request of the person who shares my toasty home, I've been limiting myself to gelatins and frozen desserts, served with fruit and garnished with discoveries from beyond the screen door...
The property line of a country yard is full of surprises. Here, discoveries include tiger lilies, lilacs, tulips, crocuses, rhubarb, spearmint, a sunflower, anise, daffodils, and any number of flowering plants I can't identify; it's gotten so that after each rainfall or robust lawn watering I go outside and search the margins for what has revealed itself. When the revelation is edible I'm especially delighted.
My favorite discovery- and a precious accompaniment to pistachio gelato- is the closest to the freezer.
Candied Rose Petals
Pluck the petals from a fragrant, pesticide (but ant)-free rose.
Using a small paintbrush, cover each petal with a thin layer of froth from a beaten egg white.
Sprinkle each petal with granulated sugar- superfine if you have it, no big whoop if you don't.
Place petal onto a cooling rack and let air-dry for several hours (easier in low humidity zones, I know, I know).
Use for garnishing anything that tastes wonderful with a floral perfume, like berries or chocolate or cream.