Sugared Flowers for Mary's Month of May

Flowers are symbolically linked to Mary in many ways - through their Marian names and the various legends. Edible flowers are a delightful garnish or adornment for cakes, desserts, salads to celebrate Our Lady during her Month of May, or at any feast day or tea time in her honor during the year. The life of a fresh flower is fleeting so their preservation by crystallizing with sugar will make them last much longer. As a decoration for an iced cake or a garnish for a dessert fresh, crystallized edible flowers bring color, fragrance and flavor to any recipe. Meredith, at Sweetness and Light, has posted about making candied violets for a Marian tea cake.

You can make your own candied flowers for your Marian treats. Use edible flowers for this project – and make sure they are ones that haven’t been treated with pesticides. The flowers in the Violas family (pansies, johnny jump ups and violets) are perfect for crystallizing. Other edible flowers that could be used include daisies, lavender, roses, calendulas, cornflowers, and blossoms from fruit trees--apple, peach, plum, orange and lemon.

Edible flowers
Egg white or meringue mixture
Baker’s sugar (super-fine sugar)
Spoon or sifter

Choose fresh flowers. Cut flower, leaving approx. 1-2 inch stem to hold while sugaring. Gently wash the flowers under a gentle stream of water or in a small bowl with cool water. Place on paper towels and let dry completely before continuing. Remove pistils and stamens from flowers before sugaring. The egg white or meringue mixture is used to coat the petals and to adhere the sugar. We used a meringue mixture of 1 tablespoon water to 1 teaspoon meringue powder. Sprinkle powder on water and let sit for awhile before stirring to avoid the powder clumping. If using an egg white, whip until frothy before using.

Apply a thin layer of egg white or meringue mixture on each side of each petal with a small paintbrush in a thin, even layer.

Hold the flower over a bowl, sprinkle or shake super-fine sugar over the entire flower. Tap to remove excess sugar and repeat on reverse side.

When coated, place on waxed or parchment paper to dry. Allow approximately 24 hours to dry and harden completely. Carefully place flowers on cake or other dessert to garnish.

Flowers and their Marian names:
Pansy (Viola tricolor) -Our Lady's Delight
Johnny-Jump-up (Viola tricolor) -Trinity Flower
Violet (Viola odorata) -Our Lady's Modesty
Cornflower (Centauria cyanis) -Mary's Crown
Rose (Rosa) -Mystical Rose
English daisy (Bellis perennis) -Mary-love
Lavendar (Lavendula) -Flight into Egypt
Calendula (Calendula officinalis) -Mary’s Bud

[Edited to add that sugared violets would be a great addition for the feast of St. Frances Cabrini (November 13) as there is the story of her dropping violets in paper boats as a child to represent the missionaries she hoped to send out to the world]
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  1. Wow, Mary, you've done it again! This is an awesome series. Thank you!

  2. Thank you for mentioning me Mary, I have this in my book too :) E is dying to do more of these soon!

  3. I can't believe I never thought of this as a way to celebrate Mary's Month! Thank you for sharing. This would be such a great project with kids, too :)

  4. This is a beautiful and creative post :)

  5. A wonderful tribute to Our Lady, Mary, God bless you!

    Pray with us!