Last weekend I was lucky enough to collaborate with Amy, the amazingly talented florist behind Luna Moss, on an edible flower photoshoot. We met at the Kinfolk event I hosted this past May and got to talking about flowers, and it blossomed (pun intended) into a wonderful afternoon spent baking, arranging, and snapping photos. The only issue was the heat…it was about 98 degrees in my neighborhood at the time, which is not very cut flower-friendly. But Amy stationed all the blossoms in front of the AC unit in my living room and they stayed looking pretty spright up until the evening. Hurray!!! Before the recipes begin I have a series of photos of the beautiful arrangements Amy made throughout the afternoon. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I did 🙂
As for the recipes, we decided to make creamy rose popsicles, a cornflower cocktail, and candied pansy and viola mini-pavlovas. Out of all three recipes, the creamy rose popsicles were my favorite, but the other two were delicious in their own right. I think I was just able to taste the rose the most compared to the other two blossoms, and it paired wonderfully with the sweet honey and creamy evaporated milk. Pansies and violas taste kind of like mild greens if you have them on their own, but when you have them candied, the sugar masks the “green” flavor of the flowers and just makes them taste very, very sweet. The cornflowers (everyone’s favorite crayola shade) had a mildly sweet and herbal flavor to them, it was a very light flavor that worked well for such a beautiful flower. Seriously, I could not get over the color and texture of these guys. Their petals are so soft and fluffy and light, they would make for great rapidly biodegradable wedding tossers to use instead of rice.
And I wanted to let you all know that I am hosting another Kinfolk event this month. It will take place at the Willowbrook apple orchard in Oak Glenn, California, and we’ll learn a bit about beekeeping from their beekeeper! There will also be a farm tour, and I will teach you how to make honey infusions, which means everyone who attends will be going home with a big jar of infused apple blossom honey and it will be DELICIOUS. I bought apple blossom honey from this orchard two years ago and it is still hands-down the best honey I’ve ever had. And I haven’t been able to find apple blossom honey for sale anywhere else after scouring the greater Los Angeles area, so it is a truly rare and wonderful treat. Please come and join us, it’s going to be a beautiful event in an incredibly idyllic setting with good food and good people!
The Cornflower Kickback
Candied Pansy & Viola Miniature Pavlovas
To make the candied pansy & viola miniature pavlovas, start by candying the flowers. Lightly brush the petals of a flower with the egg whites. Sprinkle the superfine sugar over the flower until coated. Place on a wire rack to dry. Repeat this process until all of the flowers are candied. Allow to dry for 1 hour, or until the flowers feel crisp when poked.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Now, you can either use a spatula to simply spread the meringue into small 4-inch discs, or you can do it with a pastry bag to create the spiral pattern. To do it with the pastry bag, scoop the meringue into a pastry bag fitted with the open-star tip and fold the top several times. Secure the folded top in place with a small clip. Starting at the outside edge, spiral your way towards the center as you apply pressure to the bag to make a 4-inch in diameter spiral. Repeat this until you have used all of the meringue. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar to allow the pavlovas to cool slowly (this prevents cracking). Once cooled, remove the tray from the oven. To assemble, place the pavlova on the serving surface and spread a dollop of whipped cream on top of it. Place several of the candied pansies and violas on top of the cream and serve.