Rowan Turkish Delight

Although I am not a big consumer of sweets or deserts, I do have somewhat of a sweet tooth for Turkish Delight, in fact I find it deeply exotic.

It must be something to do with being read the Arabian Nights as a child, as well as my love of foods made with roses, which I absolutely love.

I find them deeply sensual, see my Rose Petal Honey for an example of serious food porn.

Recently I discovered some Rowan berries in my freezer, and pondered what I might do with them. A different kind of Rowan Recipe was calling to me other than the traditional… “Well they make a nice jelly for meats”.

Rowan berries are after all pretty bitter at the best of times, and I have found that freezing them before use makes them considerably sweeter.

This Rowan recipe is made up of two parts. The first part is to make the Rowan berry juice, and the second is how to make the actual Rowan turkish delight. Note: This is more a bitter-sweet than a sweet-sweet, although for me the bitterness of the Rowan berries is complimented by the sugar and rose water. If you don’t handle bitterness very well, and some folk just can’t stand even a hint of it, then this Rowan recipe is best left alone. But then for the adventurous out there, give it a go.

Ingredients: Rowan Berry Juice

  • 140 grams of rowan berries (frozen then defrosted)
  • 500ml water

Instructions: Rowan Berry Juice

  1. Put the rowan berries into a saucepan and add the 500ml of water.
  2. Bring to the boil, then using a potato masher crush the berries as much as possible. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes with a lid on.
  3. Mash the berries again, then strain overnight through muslin in a sieve or colander.

You should now have approximately 400ml of liquid. Add water to make up 500ml.

How To Make Rowan Turkish Delight


  • 1tsp butter
  • 450g sugar
  • 300ml of Rowan berry juice
  • 1tsp lemon juice
  • 25g gelatine
  • ½tsp of vanilla essence
  • 1tbsp of rose water
  • 1tbsp pistachio nuts
  • 1oz arrowroot or cornflour

Suggested Instructions

  1. Butter a 15cm square baking tin and set aside.
  2. Put the sugar, rowanberry and lemon juice into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  3. Continue boiling until the liquid becomes thicker so when you drop some into a bowl of cold water it forms a hard ball. Remove from the stove and let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Dissolve the gelatine in a 120ml of hot boiled water, then add the vanilla essence, and mix very well with a wooden spoon. Now pour this into the rowan liquid and mix thoroughly, then our half of it into the baking tin. Sprinkle smashed up pistachios around the surface.
  5. Next stir the rosewater into the remainder of the rowan liquid and mix well, then pour into the baking tin on top of the pistachios, and set aside to cool before placing overnight in the fridge.
  6. In the morning turn out the Rowan Turkish Delight, cut into cubes and roll each one in arrowroot powder or cornflour. Serve.

Makes: 20-30 pieces

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  1. I tried it with 140g, and it seems about right. Tastes like ‘normal’ Turkish delight with quite a bitter after taste. I like it, but my partner isn’t so keen.


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