crystallized flowers

Crystallized flowers are a lovely addition to homemade desserts, and they’re fun to make at home, especially with your own home-grown edible flowers. They add color and a sweet crunch to cake, crème brulee, ice cream, pudding, tarts…anywhere you want to add some interest.

Our only bit of advice before you begin: make sure to only use organic flowers that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides. It’s best to grow your own or buy from a trusted florist (perhaps there’s one at your farmers’ market); even though crystallized flowers keep for up to a year, they will be eaten at some point.

Ingredients (Can be increased as needed, just keep proportional):
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 teaspoon water
A dozen safe edible flowers, such as violets, violas, Johnny-jump-ups, and pansies; cherry, plum and apple blossoms; marigolds, nasturtiums, lilacs, carnations, rose petals, geraniums, borage, lavender, and rosemary.
1 cup superfine sugar

Supplies:
Small paintbrush
Wax paper
Rack or baking sheet
Airtight container, if saving flowers for later

Directions:
Combine the egg whites and water. Beat lightly until slightly bubbly.

Dip paintbrush in the egg white mixture and paint flowers one at a time, using a light touch.(Don’t dip the flower into the egg mix; that much egg white won’t harden.)

While still wet, gently dip the flowers in the superfine sugar. Lay the flowers on a rack or baking sheet lined with waxed paper to dry for 12 to 24 hours.

Store the completely dry flowers in airtight containers until ready to use. They will keep for up to a year, though fresher is better.

(image via kimberlykv)