Crystallised Pansies

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It wasn’t exactly a lovely day but… at least I got to make summer last a bit longer! Seriously, how did I not know about crystallising pansies (or any flowers) before? So easy! And pretty too, I put them on a cake which I will post the recipe for later 🙂
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They last well and they just taste like sugar really, I don’t think pansies have as much of a taste or aroma like roses and violets do! And they make everything look beautiful. Mmmhmmm.

So, all you need is three ingredients and time!

Crystallised Pansies
Ingredients:
Clean, fresh pansies
Egg white
Caster Sugar
Instructions:
Grab a clean paint brush ready to use. Also get out a big tray to dry the flowers on and put the caster sugar onto a plate or small bowl.
Pick up a pansy by the stem, or the very top of the stem and place it face down on a plate. Gently paint on the egg white, making sure to cover all of the flower and where the petals over lap. Flip the flower and repeat on the front. Now hold the flower over the sugar and spoon/sprinkle it into both sides evenly. I found this was better than dipping the flower, otherwise the sugar would clump up.
Set down the flower onto the tray and keep going with the other pansies.
You will probably find a rhythm of your own that works!
Leave to dry overnight (or more, depending on the temperature and humidity). You may want to flip over the flowers to dry both sides, at some point. Store carefully in an airtight container for about a month.
Makes as many as you want, you can also use rose petals too.

Enjoy! Sami 🙂 xx

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Some Easy Small-Batch Spread Recipes (a Jam and a Curd)

Jam is just wonderful. A celebration of fruit, and with an almost limitless potential for combinations and experiments. And then, there’s the stuff you put it on…. even better!
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The whole ‘when life gives you lemons’ phrase comes to mind but really, or at least my philosophy is, ‘when life gives you any fruit, take it immediately and bake with it’.
Same goes for vegetables, you can get dinner for free!

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So, if in doubt of what to do with this amazing free fruit, here is the answer: make some jam or curd out of it. We had some leftover plums and grapefruit/oranges/lemons/lemonades from out lovely neighbour’s garden. The plum jam is spread on some no-knead artisan bread (I must post the reicipe) and the curd is on the coconut scones found here.

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I don’t like to add too much sugar to jams or curd as I like them to be more fruity-flavoured than sweet. Therefore, these aren’t jams that are going to last forever in the cupboard, sorry! Still, give them a go and swap the fruit around if you like. Any juice of any citrus can be used (you may want to adjust the amount of sugar or honey if you are using extra sour fruit). These small batches are great if you want to use it just to fill a cake or some cookies, or in some ice cream etc!

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So, here are the recipes!

Easy-As Plum Jam
Ingredients:
250g plums, chopped
Dash of water
100g sugar
Instructions:
Have a clean jar prepared to put the jam in. In a saucepan, heat the plums and bit of water until boiling and add the sugar. Keep boiling until the sugar has dissolved and the jam is nice and thick. Pour into the jar and let cool. Just like that!

Simple Lemon Curd
Ingredients:
300mls citrus juice
60g sugar
30g honey
1 egg
Instructions:
Prepare a jar for the curd. In a small saucepan, over low heat, mix all the ingredients together. Boil gently, for about 35 minutes and stir occasionally. When the curd is nice and thick, pour into the jar and cool.
Store these babies in the fridge for about a month.

Happy Baking everyone! 😀

Sami xx