By Emily Malloy
May is the month of Our Lady. It is also the time in which gardens begin to bear the first fruits after the long winter slumber. There is a close association between Mary and flowers. Last year, I shared a tutorial outlining how to make your own flower crown for May crowning of Mary. I have written once of Our Lady and her beautiful connection with flowers showcasing a beautiful Marian relief in The Mercantile arranged with flowers in a Dutch Master style.
It goes without saying that May is a treasured month to this florist.
Our Mays can be filled with floral crowns and Mary gardens; all of which are beautiful and remarkable, but it is also fun to have a new way to celebrate the month of Our Lady by way of flowers.
Enter: candied pansies.
Pansies were once known as Our Lady's Delight. They are a delicate little blossom that has the added benefit of being edible! They have a very subtle, almost wintergreen flavor. Continuing the floral celebration of Mary during the month of May with food is too wonderful of an opportunity to pass.
The simple process of candying these flowers add such a lovely, sophisticated flare to any dessert. All it takes is an egg white, superfine sugar (which can be easily made from granulated sugar), a splash of vanilla and a little bit of time. It needs to be noted that only flowers not treated with pesticides should be consumed.
I used these candied blooms to garnish the top of a cake. The possibilities of what they can garnish are endless: cakes, cookies, ice cream, beverages, and so much more!
Here's to some blossoming feasting as you enjoy Our Lady's Delight.
Time: 10 minutes active / 8 hours drying
Freshly cut Pansies, stem on
1 egg white
Splash of vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1. Place a sheet of parchment paper on top of a cooling rack.
2. To make superfine sugar (which is not the same as confectioner's sugar), place granulated sugar into a food processor and process on high for 2-3 minutes, or until a superfine texture. Pour into a small ramekin.
3. In another small ramekin, combine the egg white with a teensy splash of vanilla extract (measure out 1/8 of a teaspoon and drip out half).
4. Hold the flower by the stem. Take your paintbrush, dip it into the egg white mixture and paint all sides of the petals. Dip the painted flower into the sugar to coat both sides. Gently shake off any excess. Place on the parchment to dry.
5. Continue with all flowers. I like to begin with them face down with stems up. Flip over to expose the other side after 3-4 hours and continue to dry for another 4 hours, for a total drying time of 8 hours. Trim the stems, garnish, and enjoy!
Printable version of the recipe can be found here!