Making candied flowers

by Tanya

This past weekend, my boyfriend and I visited a friend who is in town from France, spending some time staying with her folks on their farm. Their beautiful home is set in a garden of lemon trees, violets blossoms and green succulents. We were invited by our friend for a relaxing afternoon, with a particularly sweet offer of making our own candied flowers.

Undeterred by the soft rain that’s been coming down for several hours, we stepped into the garden and foraged for whatever we could dunk in some sugar. Traditionally, candied violets are poured over with hot syrup, and used in France as a garnish for desserts. However, that is just one way and one reason to do it. We had an approach far more simple, and our goal was to just enjoy making the candied flowers and eating them like snacks.

Violets are the preferred flower, but Johnny-jump-ups and Borage can do! Make sure to dry them off pretty well before candying.

Besides the flowers, you’ll also need white sugar.

And you’ll need egg whites. Best when straight from the neighbor’s chicken.

To separate the egg whites, gently crack the egg…

Peel the egg shell in halves, carefully as to not break the egg yolk.

Pass the egg yolk back and forth between the two shells, letting the egg white run onto the plate.

Thoroughly swoosh and dunk the petals in the egg whites, so that they’re soaked. It’s nice to keep a bowl of warm water nearby, to rinse your hands. Make sure not to spill some water in the egg whites (we did and learned the hard way). That will ruin the whites and won’t let the sugar stick to the petals right.

When rolling the petals in the sugar, it’s best to make sure it’s just a fine dusting. Too much, and they will get gooey and clumpy, and you won’t see the natural color and shape of the flower when it’s dry.

And that’s what it looks like. Lay it out on some wax paper. Repeat with other flowers.

These were left on the wax sheet for a couple hours to air dry. The petals, almost completely dry, now are sugary candies. They are sweet, and have a bit of the raw floral taste. Makes for a fun, pretty candied snack, or a good garnish on desserts.

(Particular thanks to my friend Sorrel, for demonstrating the process step by step for me and my camera)