Recipe by French Tart
I love all manner of preserves, and crystallising flowers is a very therapeutic pastime if you have an hour to spare and some suitable flowers in your garden! Crystallised flowers add a touch of elegance to all manner of cakes, large and small. I love to decorate Fairy Cakes with them; they are also stunning on an Easter or Mothering Sunday Simnel Cake as well. Please make sure you take time to read my warning below about toxic flowers, and if in doubt - DO NOT use them PLEASE! Flowers that are suitable for crystallising are: Violets; Nasturtiums; Lavender flowers; Rose petals; Small rosebuds; Small mint leaves; Rosemary flowers and Primrose flowers. In this recipe, I have stipulated violets, these are my favourite flowers to preserve, and as I have so many growing in the garden each spring, I try to make enough to last me through Easter and beyond. They will keep quite happily in an airtight tin, in a cool, dry and dark place, for about 2 months. Oh yes, they look wonderful on trifles and sweet tarts too!
Top Review by HotJomama
These were adorable, let me share though a list of completely edible flowers( if you want to eat them you can) I actually did daisies and they turned out great! Common edible flowers Blue "starflowers" from Borage are used as a garnish and have a sweet honey-like taste * Daisies (Bellis perennis quills) * Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale leaves, roots, flowers, petals, buds) * Daylilies (Hemerocallis buds, flowers, petals) * Pansies (Viola x Wittrockiana flowers, petals) * Pot Marigolds (Calendula officinalis petals with white heel removed) * Nasturtium (blossoms and seeds) * Osmanthus fragrans (flower) * Chrysanthemum (flower) * Roses (Rosa petals with white heel removed, rose hips) * Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus buds, petals, seeds) * Sesbania grandiflora (flower) * Citrus blossoms (lemon, orange, lime, grapefruit) * Clover * Hibiscus * Honeysuckle * Jasmine (for tea) * Lilac (salads) * Violet ('leaf and flowers in salads, candied flowers for pastry decoration')
- 30 -40 whole violets or 30 -40 clean small whole fresh edible flowers or 30 -40 rose petals
- 1 egg white
- caster sugar
Directions See How It's Made
- PLEASE NOTE - IMPORTANT INFORMATION.
- Crystallised flowers are for decoration only, and should not be eaten. Research the flower, herb or plant you want to use. Check for any type of toxicity, and possible allergic or other reactions through contact with other foods, implements, skin or inhaling. Your guests may have allergies or medical conditions too.
- Just some of the toxic flowers include foxglove, oleander, daffodil, delphinium and hyacinth. This list is not comprehensive. Organically grown flowers are best, as commercially grown flowers may have pesticide or other chemical residue. Even if something is not meant to be eaten, it is not advised to use non-edible or potentially harmful plants in presentations.
- Choose flowers according to season, availability, occasion, colour scheme or theme.
- Place the clean dry flowers on a breadboard, baking tray or flat surface.
- Beat the egg white to a light foam. Brush the flowers all over with beaten egg white, using a soft pastry brush.
- Sprinkle flowers all over with the caster sugar immediately. The sugar needs to stick to the egg white before it dries.
- Leave for approx one hour or more until fully set. You can also sit the finished flowers on a baking tray lined with ovenproof paper in a warm oven (switched off).
- Once they have dried, they will be hard and brittle; store them carefully in an airtight tin for up to 2 months.
- Leave the stalks on small flowers such as violets, it helps you to pick them up and paint the egg white on them.
- Experiment with a few flowers to be sure you have it right, before doing a full batch for a special occasion.
- Use a flour sifter to help coat the flowers with sugar evenly. A tea infuser or tea ball can be filled with caster sugar and used in the same way as a sifter, as long as the mesh is the right size.
- Toothpicks may help to manoeuvre flowers once they are coated, without touching them with your hands, and undoing all your good work.