Performing this activity — the sealing of delicate blossoms in a shell of sugar that lets them dry without fading or decaying — was especially popular in 17th- and 18th-century Europe. Johnny jump-ups — with their smooth, flat petals — scented geraniums, pansies and roses work best. The egg white and sugar act as a preservative, causing the color and shape to last for months or possibly up to a year if stored properly. Store in a sealed jar, away from light and humidity.
Edible Flowers for Any Occasion
1 egg white
Beat egg white in a bowl until foamy.
Dip flowers, one at a time, into egg white (or apply a thin, even coat with a small paintbrush, if preferred), making sure to coat every part of the petals.
Shake flower gently to remove excess egg white.
Sprinkle superfine sugar over petals, covering egg white completely. (Coat the backs, too — any area not covered by egg white and sugar will rot.)
Place flowers on wax paper–lined baking sheet. Let dry and harden in cool area with low humidity. When dry, flowers will be crisp and fairly easy to move. Larger flowers such as pansies must be resituated while drying so moisture doesn’t collect under them.
Store in airtight container at room temperature. Use as decorations on cakes, chocolates, etc.
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