Acacia Flower Fritters
It’s that golden time of the year again when I can finally make one of my favourite delicacies, acacia flower fritters. The English name is locust flowers, we call it fleurs d’acacia (Robinia Pseudoacaci). Real acacias are bright yellow (from the Mimosoideae family), quite different to what we call acacias here. The fragrant blossoms are only available a few weeks during this season, so it’s best to pick them when they have just opened. They look like little bundles of grapes, with tiny white flowers that smell, and taste like honey, with a hint of jasmine, bergamot and orange blossom. Sounds like a dream? An edible one at least.
You can’t imagine how much fun it was to pick the flowers, the kids loved participating, so excited to know they would be having them as fritters. I can’t think of a more beautiful way to eat something sweet, so fragrant and fresh from the garden. It’s such a delicate pleasure to eat these little ephemeral beauties. The flowers usually bloom between ten to fifteen days, a very short-lived thrill, making the whole experience even more exciting. I am so thankful for these little magical culinary moments, such a good excuse to savour each fritter with a sip of sweet white wine. I am always in search of timeless moments, food that is a feast for the imagination as well as the eye.
Acacia (locust flowers) flowers fritters
For approximately 20-25 fritters (depending on size)
250 g/ 2 cups plain flour
200 ml/ 3/4 cup half or whole (full-cream) milk
150 m/ 2/3 cup beer
50 g/ 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp rum (optional)
1/2 tsp fine salt
2 1/2 cups vegetable oil, for cooking the fritters
Icing sugar/ confectioner’s sugar, to dust the fritters
Note: If you feel you need to rinse the flowers, make sure to dry them well before frying. Only the flowers and little stems are edible so make sure to throw out the rest!
Mix all the ingredients together (except the flowers) in a large bowl until you get a smooth batter. Cover and set aside to rest for 30 minutes to one hour.
Heat oil in a saucepan, about 1 to 1 1/2 inch deep in the pan. To test if the oil is ready, fry a few drops of batter. If it sizzles and turns golden brown within seconds, it’s ready. Dip the flowers in the batter, drain slightly and fry in batches (about 3 per batch) until the fritters become golden brown, approx 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove fritters with pliers or slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Dust lightly with icing/ confectioner’s sugar before serving.