Candied flowers are one of my favorite things ever. You can use them for so many things:
- Cake, pie, sorbet, ice cream, and cupcake toppers.
- Bag them up and give as gifts.
- Add to summer drinks.
- Decoration for dishes or around a holiday table.
- To teach kids about edible flowers.
- You can use super tiny bags and turn them into gift tags on presents. I’m not a fan of the plastic use here, but it looks fabulous.
- Add them to easter baskets.
- Wedding favors.
Plus they taste great. I made candied flowers for the first time when I was about 10 years old – candied lilacs actually and I’ve been in love with edible flowers ever since.
There are many recipes out there for candied, or crystallized flowers but the basic gist of most is simply that you’re going to be coating them with a sugar mixture.
Good flowers to sugar coat: Lilacs, violets, rose petals, cowslip, angelica, rosemary, sage, pinks, borage, primroses, and lavender. You can also coat leaves like lemon balm, lemon verbena, mint, and bergmot.
No matter what flowers you use, they always need to be home grown organic, or purchased from a reliable organic source. Flowers drink up and store pesticides easily, you don’t need that in your system.
To crystallize flowers and leaves:
- Pick flowers on a sunny dry day.
- Remove stalks and white bases from petals, also remove any petals that look funky from your pile, because the sugaring makes problems stand out.
- Lightly beat an egg white until just foamy.
- Dip each flower into the egg white to coat. You can use plastic tweezers (metal will bruise petals).
- Dip into caster sugar.
- Place on wax paper atop a wire cooling rack.
- Place in your extremely low heated oven with the door slightly open – I tried open air solar flowers once, but forgot that little flowers will just blow away. Don’t do it. I suppose you could place your flowers in an enclosed solar oven, but you’d have to make sure you could maintain low heat, and solar cookers tend to get super hot.
- Once they dry in the oven, store in an airtight container. I’m not sure how long you can keep them, they’re never around long enough for me to find out – people love them.
There are other same-minded, but slightly different recipes around:
Edible Flowers: Cook, Grow, Buy – a truly excellent read.