Last week I went to a field trip to the Pride of the Wapsy Pumping Patch with my preschooler, and , fun thing, while the children (mine included) where walking trough the field to find the perfect pumpkin I was picking those beautiful “male” pumpkin flowers that made the patch yellow and bright! Few minutes before, indeed, the farmer was explaining us how the “female” flowers fall from the pumpkin when it grows meanwhile the “male” ones – which are not attached to any fruit – keep blossoming during the season.
Well, long story short, in Italy those flowers (and the zucchini flowers) are very well known as a delightful ingredients for amazing fritters. When the farmer told me to help myself, I harvested a bag of those, took them home, and prepared this very popular Italian recipe, which is also a very common finger food you can find at wedding’s buffets, and fancy restaurants.
Super easy, just three ingredients (plus the peanut oil for frying) and get ready to try this deliciousness!!! Just to be clear, this is my family recipe, but I know for sure other Italians may tell you that the batter needs also eggs, or baking soda, or freezing water. Nothing to say about those other recipes: to me, my mom’s one works perfectly. The flowers will taste crispy and tasty, they won’t absorb too much oil, and be perfect for an “alternative” snack or as a finger food appetizer. One last thing, depending on your preferences, you can drizzle the flowers either with sugar (if you are more for sweet treats) or sea salt (if you are more a “savory food” lover), and in this latest case, you can also decide – before to immerge the flowers in the batter – to stuff it with Provolone or Asiago cheese, to make it even more appealing!
INGREDIENTS FOR ABOUT 15 FLOWERS
7 oz. (100 gr). all purpose flour
7 oz. (200 ml.) beer (any kind works but better a blond one)
peanut oil for deep frying
When you pick up and bag your flowers it may be that during the ride home some bugs come out. Don’t freak out, it’s quite common finding bugs in flowers. Once home, just was the flowers well but delicately, pat them dry and take away the stems and pistils.
Prepare the batter by hand whisking the flour and beer, and let the batter resting in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. In a medium sized pot, pour enough peanut oil to fry the flowers, and bring it at 350-350 F. (170-180 Celsius).
Meantime take a flower at a time and deep into the batter making sure is well covered all around. Once the oil reaches the right temperature, fry the flowers (not more than two-three at a time to not bring the oil temperature down) for about a minute for side, then using a holed ladle, take them out into a plate covered in paper towel (to absorb any oil in excess).
LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!!!!
TIPS: – Ideal would be frying the flowers the same day you picked them up. But If you don’t, seal them in a container and keep them refrigerated until it’s time to fry them.
– Even if they look withered when you pick them up, they will taste great anyway. Just be carful they don’t are rot (black and bad smelling).
– these flowers are delicious even in risotto or noodles, and they match perfectly with squash (of course!), cheese and other vegetables.
– When I prepare this batter, if I don’t have pumpkin flowers, I fry sliced zucchini, or sage leaves, or broccoli and carrots, and they all turn out amazing!
Have you ever tried pumpkin flower fritters? What do you think about it?
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