Beautiful & Delicious Pansy Flower Recipes
Are Pansies Really Edible?
Yes, pansies are edible and are healthy for you too. Pansies contain Vitamin C and Vitamin A.
Pansies make beautiful, colorful, magical garnishes for vegetable dishes, egg dishes, salads, sandwiches, beverages, and desserts.
The Chinese were the first (as far as we know) to experiment with eating flowers and their many recipe varieties can be traced as far back as 3,000 B.C.
The Romans used pansies, violets and roses in a variety of dishes, and lavender in sauces.
In medieval Europe, eating flowers was commonplace. At that time, people ate for medicinal purposes as well as nutritional purposes; a practice modern diets could learn from.
During the Victorian era eating flowers was very popular, especially with the fancy finger foods served at high tea as they brought a touch of elegance and wealth to the table.
In today's culture when asking people to eat pansies I always get a mixed reaction. There are those who look at me like I asked them to dig a ditch without a shovel and then there are the open-minded folks who jump right in with looks of enthusiastic childlike wonder on their faces.
What has been commonplace for centuries, in cultures such as Polynesia, Micronesia, and Asia, is crossing over to be absorbed into American culture as well.
American chefs are becoming more advanced and bold in their food presentations by more and more incorporating beautiful edible flowers to enhance their presentations.
Because of the vibrant and varied colors of the sweet little pansies, they can be matched to just about any tablescape you may want to create for a summer luncheon party, an evening dinner party, a baby shower or a wedding reception.
Pansies are from the viola family just as their cousins; the violets, violettas and "johnny-jump-ups" are too. These are just a few of the many edible flowers that we have on our planet, but they are the ones that I will be using in the recipes I share.
Pansies are my favorite because I just love how they look like little bright, happy, smilin' faces. They are so pretty, with so many colorful combinations and so cheerful that you can't help but smile when you see them.
Preparing Fresh Pansy Flowers for Food
Most edible flowers need to have stamens and styles removed before consuming.
The pollen has been known to cause an allergic reaction in a small amount of the population who are already prone to allergies.
The pollen can also have a bitter flavor and a grainy, fuzzy texture that is not very pleasant to the palate. Plus it looks rather messy to have pollen dust smearing up a white table cloth.
This is the best part....
Pansies are not part of that class of edible flowers as the whole pansy flower may be eaten without any physical discomfort. You can eat the petals, the stem, and the stamen.
Again, you can eat the whole flower.
With the huge variety of beautiful, bright and colorful varieties to choose from, pansies make an ideal food garnish and food additive.
Grow a Lovely Flower Garden and Eat It Too
Edible flowers such as pansies were very popular during the Victorian era but have made a comeback and are now quite trendy. Many new cooks have discovered the fun of adding color to food by cooking with pansies and the they have found how easy it is to grow them.
I just buy several trays of the little starter plants and then plant them in potting soil in hanging baskets and flower pots. They come in so many beautiful varieties that the only hard part is figuring out which ones I have to leave at the nursery!
I plant lots of these pots and a few hanging baskets every spring to be sure of a smile every morning when I see there little smilin' faces, and plenty of blossoms to cook with.
The fun things about cooking with pansies are their vibrant color combinations and their ease of use. You don't need complicated recipes to cook with them. and they will enhance the presentation of any meal.
Because they do come in such a variety of brilliant colors, they will liven up any dish they are used in and can even be color coordinated to your food, or your tablescape.
Color coordinate hors d'oeuvre garnished with pansies to match the wedding colors at a wedding shower or reception.
I like to float pansies on soups or in punch bowls, garnish the top of brie with a few pansy blossoms and make pansy ice cube decorations or freeze in blocks of ice for bowls of punch. All it takes is a little imagination.
Pansies aren't only used as garnishes for food and drinks. They are also an added ingredient to appetizers, omelets, soups, salads, pasta, fish, chicken and desserts.
Pansies and violets can also be dried for teas to relax and to heal the body. They can be made into lovely flavored vinegar, syrups, liqueurs, tinctures, and tonics as well.
What do pansies taste like? I'm glad you asked. They usually have a mild, fresh, sweet flavor and some will taste a bit like wintergreen.
The pansy flowers used on desserts can be a real delicious treat. They can also have a more prominent wintergreen taste depending on the variety, and how much you eat (a whole flower tastes stronger than just the petals).
Edible Pansy Flower Tip #1
Do not pick any flowers that you find growing on the side of the road. These flowers are toxic from exposure to carbon monoxide, etc. produced by the cars driving by on the road. There is always the possibility they have also been sprayed with poisonous herbicides.
Pansy Pear Gorgonzola Bruschetta
During the summer I like to grill fruit such as pineapple, peaches, nectarines, apricots or plums to add another dimension to the wonderful flavor contrast from the saltiness of the cheese and the deep natural sweet flavor of the fruit.
- 1 loaf hearty multi-grain bread or Baguette
- 3 -4 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 oz. soft Gorgonzola
- 5 ripe pears
- Local grown honey to drizzle on pears
- Handful washed and dried pansies
- 1. Preheat oven to 400°
- 2. Slice bread on the diagonal into 1/2" slices (about 12 - 14 slices). If slices are very large, cut in half. Lay out slices of bread on parchment paper on a cookie sheet . Brush bread with olive oil. Spread cheese on the bread.
- 3. Slice each pear into 6 slices. Figure 1 pear per slice of bread. You will have to judge by the size of the bread you have chosen to use.
- 4. Toast bread in oven about 2-3 minutes. Remove toast when toast is golden brown and cheese is beginning to melt and lightly bubbling.
- 5. Immediately layer pear slices on top of the toasted cheese. Top with a few pansies; drizzle honey over the pears and pansies; sprinkle with a few fresh herbs such as thyme, tiny basil leaves, or marjoram.
- 6. Serve on a lovely platter as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to a spring salad for a light, but filling spring lunch.
- Goat cheese may be substituted for the Gorganzola cheese.
Be Aware If Prone to Allergies
Keep in mind it is probably not the smartest thing to start eating a huge quantity of flowers right off the bat.
Some people are prone to allergies so it is best to introduce the flowers to your diet a little at a time to see how your body reacts to them.
Everyone's body and metabolism is different, and could react to flowers and herbs differently.
Introduce flowers into your diet in small quantities at first, one species at a time. Just like introducing a baby or a pet to a new food, you will want to do the same for a new food like edible flowers; a little at a time. Make yourself a pansy sandwich one day and try a pansy omelette the next to see how to do.
The majority of the population will not have any reaction at all when eating pansies, Johnny-jump-ups and violas, but we don't want to throw caution to the wind for the few numbers that might have allergies. It is a good thing to have this knowledge if you decide to experiment with different flower species.
The people who are prone to allergies or suffer from asthma should be very cautious when eating composite-type flowers such as calendula, chicory, chrysanthemum, daisy, English daisy, tulip, marigold and yucca.
The pollen of composite flowers are usually highly allergic and will often cause reactions in sensitive individuals.
If you are sensitive to ragweed and hay fever you probably should not experiment with eating composite flowers and should be on alert for possible allergic reaction.
Only the petals of composite flowers should be eaten and the white tips closest to the stem can be bitter. Check for bitterness and clip off if they are.
Pansy Flower Canapès - Rosalind Creasy
Original Recipe came from Rosalind Creasy's cookbook "Rosalind Creasy's Recipes from the Garden" featured here on the right.
I have changed it a bit to suit my taste. You may change it to suit your taste, too.
If you aren't already growing a garden in your yard, this cookbook will make you want to begin as soon as possible. Pansies are easy to grow and available everywhere. Grow your own baskets of pansies to make the recipes provided on this page.
- 1/4 c. dill
- 1/4 c. chives
- 1 lb. (2 8-oz. packages) softened cream cheese
- 3 Tablespoons Hellman's or BestFoods mayonnaise - do not use Miracle Whip
- 1/2 teaspoon milk if needed
- 2 large loaves rustic style multi-grain unsliced bread
- 4 -5 dozen organic fresh pansy flowers*
- Herb leaves**
- In a mixing bowl, add the dill, chives and 3 tablespoons of mayo to the cream cheese and mix until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add a little milk; a 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until the desired consistency.
- Trim the crusts off the bread and cut it into slices 1/3 inch thick; whole grain crackers may be substituted.
- Cut the slices into large squares or rectangle fingers about 3"x3" for the squares and for the finger rectangles about 2"x 4" inches. (Just divide & cut each slice of bread into equal pieces the width of the bread.)
- Spread the cream cheese mixture on the bread, approximately 1 tablespoon per square, and arrange the squares on cookie sheets.
- Cover them lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to decorate.
- Carefully wash the flowers and herbs and gently pat them dry on paper towels. Lay them out on damp paper towels and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use, but not for more than a few hours or they will wilt.
- Decorate each canapès square with a pansy another edible flower or two and an herb leaf or two.
- Re-cover the canapès lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving time. Do not prepare more than 2 hours ahead or the flowers will wilt and the bread will get soggy.
- Put a paper doily on decorative trays, place canapès on the tray. Place edible flowers around the canapès for a festive look and serve.
- * Other edible flowers may be combined such as chive blossoms, nasturtium, viola, Johnny-jump-up, borage, broccoli, rose petals, scarlet runner bean, sage flowers, and dill and fennel florets
- ** Herb Leaves such as parsley, any variety of mint, dill, fennel, any variety of basil, marjoram, oregano, tarragon, thyme, and any variety of sage leaves.
Pansy & Violet Flower Omelet
Omelets should always be cooked in a non-stick sautè pan.
An 8" omelet pan is the best choice, but any nonstick pan will do as long as it's round and between 6 inches and 10 inches in diameter.
A tip for the use of a non-stick pan is to always use a heat-resistant rubber spatula.
Your flowers should be unsprayed, chemical-free flowers from florists, large supermarkets, delicatessens, health food stores, or better yet, just pick them from your own garden.
This recipe is for one omelet. You can make as many as you like by making one at a time or multiply the recipe by the number you need and have several omelet pans cooking at the same time. Just be careful not to brown.
- Prep time: 5 min
- Cook time: 5 min
- Ready in: 10 min
- Yields: 1
- 2 large organic free-range eggs
- 2 T. unsalted butter
- 1 t. olive oil or canola oil
- 3 T. cream
- 1 T. minced fresh or dried chervil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- A few handfuls of edible flowers *
- Crack the eggs in a medium bowl, and whisk until yellow.
- Heat a heavy-bottomed nonstick sautÃ© pan over medium-low heat. Add the butter and oil; heat until butter melts.
- Add cream, salt & pepper, and chervil; whisk like crazy; beating as much air as possible into the eggs until well blended.
- Once butter is melted, pour in the egg mixture, and turn the heat down to low.
- Swirl the egg mixture around the pan. Don't stir! Let the eggs cook for up to a minute or until the bottom starts to set, lifting cooked egg gently to allow uncooked egg to run underneath and cook. Repeat with the other edges, until there's no liquid left.
- Your eggs should now resemble a bright yellow pancake, which should easily slide around on the nonstick surface. If it sticks at all, loosen it with your spatula.
- Add most of the flowers (reserve some for garnish).
- Using your spatula, lift one edge of the egg gently, fold it across and over, so that the edges line up. Cook for another minute or so, if necessary, but don't overcook or allow the egg to turn brown.
- Slide the whole omelet onto a serving plate, put plate in a warm oven to keep while you make the next omelet. Let it cool slightly. Garnish extravagantly with the remaining flowers.
- * Any combination of edible flowers may be used such as pansies, violas, violets, marigolds, chive blossoms, nastiriums, lavender, chervil or rose petals.
- Serve the omelet with champagne or a French Champagne Mimosa.
Contemporary Nonstick 10- and 12-Inch Omelet Pans, Set of 2 by Calphalon
An essential piece of kitchen equipment needed to make a beautiful omelet is a heavy bottomed non-stick skillet. This set is a moderately priced set that will serve the purpose well. Perhaps they may not be the best of the best but this set is good quality and comes at a more than fair price (fabulous sale price) for a good set which will get the job done properly. You are getting two pans for the price of one!
Edible Pansy Flower Tip #2
Remember not to eat any flowers that you buy from the florist unless they are from a local organic florists or farm. Flowers that are not raised on local organic farms have been sprayed with pesticides and herbicides (yes, they are a poison too!).
Recipe adapted from MomsDish.com blog. The Omelet Rolls are easy to make, yet they look really impressive when served. You can add anything that your heart desires, such as various types of veggies, edible flowers, meats and cheeses.
I like to make mine with pansy flowers for the beautiful colors along with onion or chive blossoms. Adding a fresh herb such as chervil or tarragon really improves the flavor of the Omelet Roll.
- 8 Eggs
- 1 Cup Milk
- 1/3 Cups Flour
- 1 Medium Tomato; Finely Chopped
- 1/4 Cup Purple Onion; finely minced
- 2 Tablespoons Scallions; sliced thin
- 1 Large handful pansies; washed and dried
- 1 small handful of chives blossom, if available
- 1 teaspoon dried chervil or 1 Tablespoon fresh, minced
- 1 1/2 cups Havarti Cheese; grated
- Salt, Pepper and Hot Sauce to taste
- Prepare a 12" X 16" jelly roll pan by lining with parchment paper.
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Beat eggs and flour in large bowl until well combined. Add milk and beat until smooth. Beating eggs with flour first, then adding the milk later, makes for a smoother texture. If using a blender, beat until smooth.
- Add onion and chervil and blend until mixed.
- Pour egg mixture onto prepared pan. Sprinkle prepared vegetables, flowers and 1/2 cup of cheese.
- Bake at 350°F for about 14 minutes, or until edges are almost set.
- Top omelette with remaining Havarti cheese; baking 2 minutes longer or just until cheese melts.
- Roll up the omelette immediately, starting at one short end and peeling off parchment paper as omelette is rolled.
- Place on platter; cut into slices.
- Plate and garnish with more fresh pansies.
- Serve immediately, as melted cheese does taste the best when still warm and melty.
Pansy Spring Salad
With their beautiful array of colors and mild lettuce-like flavor, pansies brighten any dish.
Any citrus dressing will accent the walnuts and feta cheese in a salad.
- 4 cups washed and torn mixed salad greens
- 2 fresh sprigs of dill
- 2 large fresh curley-leaf parsley leaves
- 6 large basil leaves
- rolled up and thinly sliced julienne style
- Fresh chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 c. chopped chives or 2 chopped scallions
- 1/2 fresh sliced and quartered cucumber
- 1/2 large fresh lemon
- Pinch of salt
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 t. olive oil
- 1 cup toasted roughly chopped walnuts
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- About two handfuls of fresh pansy flowers
- Toss salad greens and herbs into a large bowl and toss to distribute the herbs among the greens.
- Slice tomatoes in to wedges then cut each wedge into 2 pieces to make bite-sized pieces.
- Slice cucumber and cut into quarters to make bite-sized pieces.
- Chop the chives or scallions and add to salad.
- Squeeze lemon juice (without the seeds) over the greens and season with salt and pepper. Toss the salad.
- With a little olive oil in a non-stick skillet, heat the oil to high. Toast the walnuts by continuously shaking the pan until the aroma of toasted walnuts permeate the air. Do not burn the walnuts. Cool on paper towel.
- Add cooled walnuts and feta cheese to salad and toss well.
- Divide salad and pansies among four serving plates and serve.
- A citrus salad dressing may be passed at the table. I prefer a spicy orange salad dressing. Recipe can be found below.
- Tips: Never cut lettuce or salad greens with a knife. It bruises the tender greens and makes them wilt faster. Optional: Add fresh berries such as Strawberries, Blueberries, or Blackberries
Blood Orange Ginger Salad Dressing
Dressing is also excellent as a marinade for seafood or chicken.
- 1 t. peeled and mashed fresh ginger
- 1 mashed garlic clove
- 1/4 - 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 freshly-squeezed blood orange juice
- 1 freshly squeezed Meyers lemon
- 1 -2 t. orange blossom honey
- 1 -2 T.white rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 t. soy sauce
- 1 shallot finely minced
- 1/2 t. dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 T. red chili paste
- Mash ginger and garlic with a pestle and a little salt until mashed into a paste in the bottom of a medium wooden bowl.
- Add all remaining ingredients and whisk together until well blended; pour into a serving bowl with a ladle or a salad dressing bottle.
- Any leftover dressing will keep up to one week in refrigerator.
- Tips: Tangerine, mandarin or domestic fresh oranges can be substituted. Dressing may be shaken in a jar rather than whisked.
Floral Homemade Pasta by Emma Brittan and Sophia Emma Piper-Burket
I have not made this pasta yet. I sold my pasta rolling machine at my garage sale when I sold my house before moving to New York and haven't bought another one yet.
I have kicked myself many times because of it when I am on a whim and I want to make pasta. Trying to roll out pasta evenly by hand has never been my forte.
Think about a road full of potholes rather than a ribbon of highway and that is the picture of my rolled out pasta dough. I can never seem to get it a consistent thickness, thus I should never have sold my pasta rolling machine.
I am going to have to remember to tell the next kid that says,"Mom, what do you want for your birthday?" This new pasta rolling machine!
Anyway, I did want to include this here because the pasta looks so beautiful and I'll bet it taste just as good as it looks!
Emma Brittan and Sophia Emma Piper-Burket of the Kitchen Caravan are the creators of this lovely eye candy pansy pasta. Unfortunately, they have shut down their website.
They originally made their floral homemade pasta using the basic recipe on the package of Bob's Red Mill Semolina Flour. I have added the recipe from the package below.
The girls just rolled the pansy flowers into their homemade pasta sheets to make this lovely spring dish. Isn't it gorgeous? I thought so too. I will have to get another pasta rolling machine soon to give this recipe a try.
Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods Basic Pasta Recipe
Bob's Red Mill Semolina Flour is where this recipe came from from.
You can get this all natural flours below from the Amazon button if you can't find it for a less expensive price in your own local market or health food store.
- 1 -1/2 cups Semolina
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 2 beaten Eggs or 3 beaten Egg Whites
- 2 tb Water
- 2 tb Olive Oil
- Combine semolina and salt, add beaten eggs (or egg whites), water and oil. Mix to make a stiff dough.
- Knead 10 minutes or until dough is elastic. Wrap dough in towel or place in plastic bag and let rest for 20 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface roll out to desired thickness and cut as desired.
- Bring a large pot of water containing 1/2 teaspoon olive oil to a boil. Add pasta and cook until tender (approximately 3 - 5 minutes).
- When making lasagna, no need to boil noodles. Add directly to your recipe.
Edible Pansy Flower Tip #3
Please avoid using non-edible flowers or plants as a garnish. Your guest will assume that because they are eating flowers in their food, all plants and flowers on the plate are edible. It would be a tragedy to poison one's guest!
Pansies, johnny-jump-ups, violets, and violas are all related and are often used for decorations on decadent chocolate cakes, cupcakes and wedding cakes.
The flowers are placed on the deserts after washing and drying. They are eaten raw like in the cupcakes in the photo shown here on the right, or they are preserved in sugar to be used as edible gourmet cake decorations.
Although pansies and their relatives are lovely to eat, please be forewarned and remember to never eat flowers picked from areas that may have been sprayed with insecticide or herbicides.
Flowers that have come from a florist should NOT be eaten either for the same reason!
Many commercial flower growers use poisonous insecticides to protect their crops and do not believe in organic gardening. Only buy from locally grown organic gardeners. It is really best to grow your own pansy flowers, then you are able to harvest as soon as they are ready.
Wild violets have a very short lifespan but if you grow your own, you can have them live longer by deadheading the flowers. My pansies and johnny-jump-ups last until the first frost because of the deadheading (removing dead flowers from the plant) process.
Picking flowers to candy for garnishes will also help the plant to produce longer.
Pansies, violets, roses, in fact all edible flowers may be candied to preserve for a later uses.
- 2 well beaten egg whites
- vanilla extract
- 1 medium small bowl of granulated sugar
- 1 paint brush
- Rinse blossoms in cool water and gentle pat dry with facial tissues.
- Line a wire rack with parchment paper or wax paper and place on a baking sheet. (The wire rack is not crucial, it just speeds up the drying process.) Place sugar in a shallow bowl.
- Beat egg whites until frothy; mix a few drops of vanilla into the egg whites.
- Dip a clean paint brush in the egg whites and coat the petals evenly, trying not to saturate the petals.
- Hold flower petals over sugar. Using a spoon gently sprinkle sugar on both sides of the flower covering the entire surface. Then place flowers face up on the parchment paper or wax paper to dry.
- Dry in a warm place at least 24 hours before storing. Don't try to sugar-coat in humid weather. It will not work.
- When sugar coated blossoms dry, cut off stems.
- Use to decorate cakes, cookies or anything else you like. Extras may be kept in air tight containers layered between parchment paper or wax paper.
- Tips: Since violas and violets do not last long, cut at once to make candied violets and store until needed. Pansies can be candied all summer long.
Garnish Cocktails with Fresh Pansies
This drink was created by the pursip at a restaurant called the Saf in London.
It is called a violet tonic and is made with organic gin, french tarragon, pear juice, violet cordial (recipe shown below ice cream recipe), lime, fever tree tonic water and garnished with an array of edible pansy flowers plopped on top.
I for one, am not a real big fan of gin and prefer vodka any day, but any summertime cocktail or wine spritzer sort of cocktail will be an inviting and welcoming invitation to imbibe in the summer heat.
Especially when garnished with the vibrant colors of fresh grown pansy flowers while served in hand painted pansy wine glasses.
I am thinking how a refreshing a cocktail made of watermelon, lemonade and vodka, garnished with pansies would be a huge enticement for me to put down the gardening spade and take a break.
Watermelon Cocktail Garnished with Pansies
- 3 cups seeded watermelon, cut into 1 ½inch pieces
- 1 cup vodka
- ½ cup white vermouth
- 1½T superfine sugar
- 3 cups crushed ice
- Edible pansies, for garnish
- Place watermelon, vodka, vermouth, and sugar in a blender; process until watermelon has been liquefied, about 10 seconds.
- Add ice; process 3 seconds more.
- Pour into chilled glasses.
- Serve garnish with pansies
Hand Painted Pansies Champagne Glasses - Exclusive Made to Order By ArtisanStreet
I bought two sets of these glasses in my travels a few years ago and wish I had checked on Amazon first. I would have saved myself a hundred bucks for the two sets.
Whatever, I adore them. They are gorgeous and perfect for my friends and me to share a wonderful glass of pinot grigio with a lovely pansy infused luncheon!
I must stress to only hand wash these lovely wine glasses. A dishwasher will destroy their loveliness.
Hand Painted Purple & Dark Pink Pansies Champagne Glasses
A List of Edible Flowers
- Crimson-Red to Red, Pink and Light Purple Hues of the Bee Balm
- Sky-Blue Borage Flowers
- Bright Orange Calendula Petals
- Deep Purple Flowers Of Chives
- Yellow Petals of Dandelions
- All Colors, Varieties and Hues of Daylilies
- Creamy-Yellow-White Deadnettle (Not Stinging Nettle!)
- Pale Yellow Elder Flower Heads
- All Colors of Hibiscus Flowers (Scarlet-Red have best color for tea)
- All Hues & Shades of Hollyhock Flowers
- White Jasmin Flowers
- Lilac-Blue, Pale Yellow and White Johnny-Jump-Ups
- Medium Purple of Lavender
- Light Purple of the Lilac
- Purple-Pink Common Mallow
- Yellow-Orange, Orange or Red-Orange of Marigolds
- Pale Yellow Mustard Flowers
- Orange, Red or Yellow Nasturtiums
- All Hues and Shades of Pansies
- Red Poppy Or California Poppy Petals
- All Colors of Rose Petals
- Pale-Blue Rosemary Flowers
- Scarlet Runner Bean Scarlet Flower
- Orange-Yellow Squash Blossoms
- Yellow Sunflower Petals
- All Hues & Shades of Tulips
- Deep-Blue to Purple Violets
Make Pansy Flower Popsicles
Edible Pansy Flower Tip #4
Pick your flowers in the morning when their water content is at its highest. Then bathe the flowers gently in a water bath. Dry on a paper towel. Roll the flowers in wet newspaper and put in the refrigerator until needed. It is best to use your pansies immediately. They will not keep much longer than a few hours before they begin to wilt.
Spring Pansy Citrus Margarita Popsicles
- 1.5 cup citrus juice (a combination of meyer lemons, clementines and limes)
- 1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 1/2 cup Patron silver tequila
- 1/3 cup Grand Marnier
- 1 cup distilled water
- pansy flowers (any variety of organic edible flowers)
- In a huge pitcher, stir all ingredients (except edible flowers) to combine.
- Pour mixture into popsicle mold. Freeze without sticks and petals for about 1 hour. This will allow crystals to form and prevent edible flowers from floating.
- Using a long kitchen tweezer, insert edible flowers into lightly crystallized (NOT FROZEN) popsicles. Make sure the flowers are scattered throughout the pops. Add the sticks and return popsicles back into freezer to completely freeze.
- Freeze for 2-3 hours more until solid.
- Enjoy! Have a refreshing Spring Pansy Citrus Margarita Popsicles while relaxing on the porch in the summer heat.
Pansy Decorated Cookies
Pansy Shortbread Cookies
Shortbread are my favorite cookie of all time!
I love to add pansy flowers to the cookie dough to beautifully decorate the cookies, They make a lovely homemade gift!
I like to put them into a clear glycerin gift bag and present them as a gift tied up with a lovely lavender or purple bow.
I also like to cut my shortbread with round cookie cutters and use Martha Stewart's ideas featured below the Pansy Shortbread recipe to present my fabulous cookie gift.
- Prep time: 30 min
- Cook time: 35 min
- Ready in: 1 hour 5 min
- Yields: Makes: 8 to 16 wedges
- 1 -1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 4 T. granulated sugar
- 1/2 c. butter
- 1/4 c. shortening
- 1 T. dried egg whites
- 2 T. water
- 8 to 16 small edible pansies or violets
- Fine sanding sugar
- In a medium mixing bowl combine flour and granulated sugar. Using a pastry cutter, cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs and starts to cling. Form the mixture into a ball and knead until smooth.
- Pat or roll the dough into a 7- to 8-inch circle on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using your fingers, press to make a scalloped edge. Cut circle into 8 to 16 wedges; do not separate.
- Bake in a 325 degree F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until bottom just starts to brown and center is set. Cut circle into wedges again while warm. Cool on cookie sheet on a wire rack.
- Combine dried egg whites and water. Brush tops of wedges with egg white mixture. Place pansies on top; brush with more egg mixture. Sprinkle with fine sanding sugar. Bake for 5 minutes more. Transfer to wire racks and cool. Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Makes 8 to 16 wedges.
To Present These Pansy Cookies As a Gift:
You will need a glass rectangular plate, scissors, and lavender tulle ribbon.
- Choose a glass plate, large enough to hold shortbread wedges.
- Arrange the shortbread on the plate and cover with plastic wrap. If you wish, cover with pretty paper.
- Cut a 3-inch-wide strip of tulle ribbon, long enough to wrap around the plate and the shortbread. Tie the ribbon into a bow at the top. Trim the ribbon ends.
To Serve: After the shortbread is arranged on the plate, tuck more fresh edible flowers around the shortbread wedges.
Pansy Shortbread Cookies
Edible Flowers: Desserts & Drinks
Decorate Cookies with Pansies
Transform plain shortbread or sugar cookies into works of art by decorating them with edible pansies. Mix in other edible flowers using the cookie dough field as the planted wildflower landscape.
Cut the shortbread cookies in a variety of shapes and decorate the tops of the cookies with pretty, bright-colored pansies.
When I see cookies decorated with edible flowers they look magical to me. They make me think of Alice in Wonderland and they are so beautiful I want to feast on them the minute I see them.
Lemon Pansy Bar
Adapted from Baking Illustrated: A Best Recipe Classic
- 1 1/4 cups (6 1/4 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (2 oz) confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened & cut into 1-inch pieces
- 7 large egg yolks, plus 2 large eggs
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7 7/8 oz) sugar
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed Meyer's lemon juice (I used 4 small Meyer's lemons)
- 1/4 cup lemon zest (I just used the amount I got from the 4 Meyer's lemons and it was enough zest)
- pinch salt
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream (I used half and half and it was PLENTY rich enough)
To make the crust:
- Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Line the pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on opposite sides to lift the bars out after they've baked. Spray the aluminum foil with cooking spray.
- Add the flour, confectioners' sugar and salt to the bowl of your food processor. Pulse a few times to combine.
- Add the butter and process to blend, about 8-10 seconds. Pulse just a few more times, until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal.
- Dump the mixture into the prepared baking pan and use the tips of your fingers to press it into an even layer over the bottom of the pan. (I used the top to my cooking spray pan as a tiny roller so I could get the crust smooth) Refrigerate the crust for 30 minutes.
- While the crust is chilling, preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake the crust for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. (Don't start making the lemon curd filling until the crust is in the oven baking)
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and eggs together until combined.
- Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl and use your fingertips to rub the zest into the sugar until the sugar is moist and fragrant (I love playing with my food!).
- Add the sugar to the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Finally, add the lemon juice and salt and whisk until all ingredients are blended.
- Transfer the filling to a medium saucepan and add the butter. Stirring continuously, cook over medium-low heat until the curd thickens slightly and registers 170 F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Pour the curd through a strainer into a medium heatproof bowl (This strains out the zest from the filling). Add the heavy cream and stir to combine. Pour the filling over the warm crust (this is important - don't let the crust cool before adding the filling).
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the filling is shiny and the center jiggles just slightly when shaken. Remove the pan to a wire rack and cool completely.
- Use the foil to lift the bars out of the pan and cut into squares. Place a candied pansy on top of of each square and dust with confectioners' sugar.
Lemon Pansy Decorated Cupcakes
Jacqueline's Lemon Supreme Cupcake
This fabulous recipe for Lemon Cupcakes and this lovely photo came from Jacqueline of the Purple Chocolate Home blog.
Do visit her site for more fabulous recipes and for just a great experience. Jacqueline also exhibits a different way of making her candied pansies that you may want to check out too.
- 1 lemon
- 3 c. flour
- 2 t. baking powder
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 c. milk
- 1 (6-oz.) container lemon yogurt
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1 c. softened butter
- 1 -3/4 c. Baker's sugar*
- 3 large eggs
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Zest the lemon, you should have about 1 tablespoon.
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a small bowl whisk the milk, yogurt and vanilla.
- In mixer bowl, beat butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition and beating well after each addition.
- On low, beat flour mixture into butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture. Beat well and scrape bowl after each addition. Fold in the zest.
- Spoon into prepared pans - use 2 - 8 inch pans or 18-20 muffins. I used jumbo muffin cups in regular muffin pans and filled about half full. This gave me a taller muffin. I later discarded that muffin cup.
- 8. Bake 25-30 minutes for the 8 inch pans and 20-25 minutes for the cupcakes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then remove from pan on to the rack to finish cooling.
- When doing a round cake, cut parchment paper to fit the bottom and don't grease the sides of the pan. When the cake has cooled for 10 minutes, run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake. Your cake comes out perfectly this way, and doesn't dome up in the center.
- * Baker's sugar is a finer grain than granulated sugar and gives you a finer crumb in your finished cake, but if you rather you can use regular granulated sugar.
Jacqueline's Lemon Curd Frosting
Use Jacqueline's Lemon Curd Frosting on these luscious cupcakes!
- 1/2 c. softened butter
- 1 -10 oz jar Lemon Curd
- 4 c. powdered sugar
- 1 -3 T. water
- Cream all together, adding water as needed until soft and creamy.
- Remove cupcakes from their cups, split and spread with a little lemon curd.
- Put halves back together and place in "Wilton Cupcake Wrappers". Jacqueline found these at JoAnn's Fabric, but you can also get them on Amazon. Jacqueline also tried making her own with a 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch piece of paper which she pleated over a narrow glass that she had turned over.
- Place frosting in a frosting cone with a large plain tip or in a Ziploc plastic bag with the corner cut off. Frost in a circular motion from the outside to the center.
- For the cake, fill between layers with lemon curd. Frost top and sides and finish with crushed Lemonheads if desired.
About Lemon Curd
Many think that Lemon Curd originated in England.
Actually France is where lemon curd originated. The British like to lay claims to being the creators, but the fact is, lemon curd was first created in France years before and was brought to England which was sometime in the 14th or 15th century.
For the sake of ease and saving time, Lemon Curd can be purchased in the gourmet section or the jam section of most grocery stores.
Make your own from the recipe above or try. Find a Lemon Curd Filling Recipe on my Romantic Breakfast in Bed page.
Lemon Curd filling is really very easy to make; the flavor is decadent, and it will make you think of liquid sunshine in the spring. I love it in crêpes too.
Pansy Decorated Cake
Pansy Topped Chocolate-Glazed Cheesecake
Decadent and elegant, this delectable crustless chocolate cheesecake is perfect for a very special occasion.
This is what pure chocolate decadence is all about. Bake the cheesecake a day or 2 in advance, then decorate right before you are ready to serve it.
Let it stand 30 minutes in a cool place before slicing to serve.
Photo on the right from from MarthaStewart.com
- Prep time: 30 min
- Cook time: 1 hour 30 min
- Ready in: 2 hours
- Yields: 12
- 1 T. Butter softened
- 2 T. Chocolate wafer crumbs
- 10 oz. Chopped Semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
- 5 (8-oz.) Packages cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 ¼ c. Granulated sugar plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
- 5 Lg. eggs
- 2 c. Pesticide-free pansies or violets
- 2 t. Vanilla extract
- Boiling water
- Cardboard or cardboard cake round
- Chocolate Glaze (recipe follows)
- Candied or fresh pansies and pansy leaves (recipe follows)
- Using the butter, coat the inside bottom and 2 inches up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan, or 10-inch Bundt pan. Sprinkle pan with chocolate wafer crumbs, shaking mold to evenly coat the inside completely.
- Heat oven to 325'F. Melt the 10 oz. of chocolate (use the best quality you can afford - I like the Ghirardelli Semisweet Chips) in the microwave or in a double boiler until melted and smooth. Cool the chocolate but still warm enough to be pourable. In a large bowl (or with a stand mixer), blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. With a rubber spatula, fold in vanilla until well mixed. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
- Wrap the bottom of the cheesecake pan with foil. Bake until the center is just set and just appears dry, but the center is still a bit jiggly, about 1 hour. If using Bundt pan, bake 1 1/4 hours.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run knife around sides of cake to loosen. Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
- Cut a piece of cardboard into a round to fit exactly over the cheesecake. Loosen the cake around the side of the pan. Unmold cake onto the cardboard round and place on a wire rack set over a jelly-roll pan.
- Prepare Chocolate Glaze. Pour half of glaze over top of the cheesecake, and with small metal spatula, carefully spread to evenly cover side, allowing excess to drip into the pan below. Refrigerate cake just until glaze hardens.
- 7. Meanwhile, before serving, keep remaining glaze at room temperature. If glaze hardens, reheat in hot water just until spoonable. Pour and evenly spread remaining glaze over cake, allowing ganache to drip down sides.
- Transfer cheesecake to serving plate. Garnish top with fresh pansies or with candied pansies and decorate the plate with violet leaves, if desired. To serve, cut cheesecake with a knife dipped into warm water and dried. Store any leftover cheesecake covered in the refrigerator.
Chocolate Ganache Gaze
- One hour before serving (or up to 3 days ahead of time), stir 1 cup heavy cream, 10 ounces chocolate, and 2 T. sugar, 1 T. light corn syrup, 1 T. unsalted butter in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until smooth.
- Cool slightly. Pour about half of ganache over the center of the cheesecake, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edge.
- Chill until the topping is set, about 1 hour.
- Serve on an attractive cake stand.
Violet Ice Cream
Violet Ice Cream
- 1 qt. cream
- ¾ c. sugar
- Few grains salt
- 1/3 c. Yvette Cordial*
- 1 small bunch violets
- Violet food coloring
- Mix first four ingredients in a stand up mixer.
- Remove stems from violets, and pound violets in a mortar until well macerated, then strain through cheese-cloth.
- Add extract to first mixture; color, freeze, and mold.
- Serve garnished with fresh or candied violets; the light purple cultivated violets should be used and the result will be most gratifying.
- Note: "Ivette Cordial" is a kind of violet liqueur that used to be made in France. It is very difficult to find a violet liqueur in the US. However, it can be purchased online. I have found several places that you can order it from when I did an online search. Or you can make your own.
How to Make Violet Cordial
First Make Violet Syrup
- Pick about 2 cups of violets and rinse in a colander.
- Let them steep in a mason jar by covering them with 2 cups of boiling water.
- Let them steep in the hot water until cooled then place in refrigerator and allow to steep an additional 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, strain the liquid through a finely meshed sieve, squeezing all the pretty purple liquid from the violets, into a saucepan.
- Add 2 cups of granulated sugar and bring to a boil. I am not a big fan of processed white sugar, but white sugar is the only kind of sugar which can be used in making a cordial. Organic white is still processed white sugar, but probably better as the sugar cane is organically grown.
- Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low, and continue to cook at a low rolling boil for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until all sugar is dissolved.
Next We Will Make the Cordial
- Remove pan from heat and add fresh juice of half a lemon.
- Color will change from purple to magenta
- Measure the syrup and add equal amount of a good, light amber brandy and bottle it in sterilized capped glass bottles or jars.
- Some make it with vodka or gin instead of brandy for a lighter, sweeter flavored cordial.
- Let it sit in a cool, dark place for two weeks.
Keep in mind that the ratio for the syrup is 1:1:1:1. What that means is equal parts of flowers, sugar, water and alcohol. Go by the amount of flowers you have picked.
Violet Flower Syrup
What Pansy Recipe Will You Experiment With?
Which Pansy Recipe Has Inspired You?
Yellow Pansy Lollipop
Spring Flower Lollipops Recipe
Hard candy recipe from the SprinkleBakes: Dessert Recipes to Inspire Your Inner Artist Baking Cookbook!
Yield: 10 lollipops
- 2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup corn syrup
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 dram bottle candy flavoring oil (such as Blackberry)
- Violet gel food coloring
- 10 organic whole pansy flower heads or petals washed and patted dry with tissue
- 10 lollipop sticks
- If you are using a lollipop mold (recommended), lightly grease it with cooking spray. If you are not using a mold, pour 2 cups of powdered sugar into a baking pan with a lip. Create indentations with the bottom of a glass or other flat-bottomed object. Set aside.
- Stir together the sugar, corn syrup and water in a small saucepan and clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Continue to heat without stirring until the bubbling mixture reaches the hard-crack stage (302 degrees F). Remove pan from heat.
- Stir in flavoring oil and a small amount of gel food coloring. Be extra careful because the mixture will bubble and sputter with these additions.
- When the mixture has stopped bubbling, drop it into the molds by the spoonfuls (or into the powdered sugar indentations) using a metal spoon.
- Carefully place a pansy flower head or petal face down on the hot candy. Use the end of a lollipop stick to slightly press it into the candy. Quickly pour just enough hot candy over the flower head or petal to cover the backside, encasing it completely in the candy.
- Place a lollipop stick in the candy and turn 1/2 turn. Allow the candy to harden, then remove from molds. If using powdered sugar to mold, you may choose to rinse off the excess sugar under a thin stream of warm water - either way, the flower will become more visible once the lollipop is being enjoyed.
- Make sure the mold you use is large enough to accommodate the size of the flowers and petals you are using.
- Pouring the molten candy into uniform circles, using the freeform method, can be a bit tricky and will take a little practice.
- If doing free-form lollipops, I'd recommend using two baking sheets. This way you have more room for each pop and are less likely to have them run together.
- I found that the blossoms with darker colors work better than the lighter ones. Pale pink pansies were barely visible inside the sugar whereas the purple work beautifully. The degree of food coloring drops used will also contribute to the look of the candy.
The hard candy recipe above is adapted from Heather Baird‘s cookbook. It is a dessert recipe book full of delicious mouth watering sweets for the sweet.
The Spring Flower Lollipops are a favorite sweet for spring and summer time fun treats. My grandkids and my nieces and nephews love helping to make these lollipops in the spring and summer.
They are simple and beautiful. These edible flower treats make a beautifully unique and delightful party treat. The pansies encased perfectly in a clear hard candy, glistening, sweet lollipop.
I like to make them free-form (without a candy mold) for a homespun, free-wheeling feel, but you can use hard candy molds if you like to have perfectly formed conservative pops.