How to Cook Pumpkin Blossoms
That's right, people can and have eaten pumpkin blossoms. There are slight variations of how people prepare this food and step-by-step I'll explain how I pan-cook these flowers.
First, you need access to a pumpkin patch. There is no way to preserve a plucked blossom for very long; it withers within hours, cold or not, so you have to cook them fresh off the vine. These flowers are light sensitive, only opening up in the mornings. On sunny mornings, they stretch out and become full. On cloudy mornings, they are only half-way opened, making each petal shrink. To get most out of this breakfast item, pick the fullest flowers.
- pumpkin blossom(s)
- two bowels
- egg beater
- zip-lock bag
- cooking pan
- non-stick spray
Instructions for one pumpkin blossom.
Once the blossom is plucked, separate the petals. Wash each petal gently with lukewarm water, then place them on a paper towel to dry. Throw away the center (the portion with pollen). It's okay to have green at the bottom of the petals; it's going to be cooked anyway and you'll want to keep as much of the petal as possible for a more rewarding outcome. Make sure to spread out the petals as they lay to dry; they will wrinkle up if you don't.
While the petals dry off, take five or so crackers and place them in a zip-lock bag. What you'll want to do is crunch the crackers into very small bits. This can be done by laying the bag down and pummeling it with your fist, or holding the bag in your hands and crushing them repeatedly with your fingers. I usually do both. You will ultimately get powdered crackers, but the majority should be small crumbs. Pour the pulverized crackers into a bowel.
Take one egg (for one should be more than plenty for one blossom) and open it into another bowel. Take an egg beater and mix the egg until it becomes all yellow.
Once you prepare the pan by greasing it up with non-stick spray and turning the burner on medium, take a petal, soak it front and back with the egg yolk, and then cover the front and back with the cracker crumbs. Once the petal is mostly coated (you won't cover its entire orange surface), place on top of the burning pan. Like cooking eggs or pancakes, flip it until the cracker crumbs become a golden brown. I recommend pan-cooking no more than four petals at a time, because once time presses on, the faster the blossoms will cook. If not flipped quickly, the crumbs will start to turn black.
Once you have placed all the cooked blossoms onto a plate, you will have left over egg yolk. I recommend pouring what's left into the cooking pan and having additional eggs with your pumpkin blossoms. Because the pan has been burning for a while, expect the left over egg to cook fast.
It is a messy process and with just one blossom, this won't be a very filling breakfast alone. It is, however, a tasty addition to an early meal and worth the preparation when eaten infrequently.