For just a couple of weeks in late spring, the Black Locust tree blooms with aromatic clusters of white flowers. If you’re lucky enough to know where to look, this is when you should gather these precious beauties.
With a scent of jasmine and fresh pea, the flowers are best eaten raw, straight from the tree. Simply add them to salads or stir them into warm porridge for breakfast.
To best preserve the aroma of the Black Locust, we’ve put together some of our favourite recipes, from fritters to jam and syrup, this blossom is versatile and full of flavour.
Black Locust Flower Jam
100g acacia flowers
200ml filtered water
1kg unrefined sugar
Remove the flowers from the green cluster stem and put to one side.
To make the syrup, mix the water and sugar together in a saucepan. Place the saucepan on medium heat and stir, ensuring the sugar doesn’t stick to the pan and burn.
Add half of the sliced lemon and continue to stir the mix until you get syrup.
Once the syrup starts to boil, remove half of the lemon slices added to the mix. Too much lemon will overpower the delicate taste of black locust.
You will notice foam starting to form above the syrup. With a wooden spoon collect as much of the foam as possible and dispose of it.
Add the black locust flowers to the sugar syrup alongside the juice of the lemon half we put aside earlier and mix well.
With a clean cloth, wipe the inside edge of the pan so the sugar won't caramelise and the jam can remain a beautiful golden colour.
Continue to stir the syrup as it thins out and bring the flowers to boil for 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat, let the pan cool, cover with a clean cloth and allow the mix to sit overnight.
The next day, bring the mix to boil again for 5 minutes.
Pour the hot jam into sterile jars, wipe clean, label and store.
Refrigerate once opened.
Black Locust Fritters
10 -15 clusters of black locust flowers
4tbsp all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
1tbsp unrefined sugar
50 ml cold beer
100 ml of filtered water
250ml vegetable oil
To make the batter, mix the flour, salt and sugar.
Then, slowly add the water, stirring with a whisk to remove any lumps.
Once the water is mixed, add the cold beer pouring it in slowly in order to avoid any lumps.
Let the batter sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Heat one inch of vegetable oil in a large pan, dip the flowers in the batter and shake them to remove any excess batter.
Once the oil is hot, lay the flowers well spaced into the pan and fry for two minutes on each side, until crisp and golden.
Fry the flowers in batches, so they don’t stick together.
Remove the flowers from the pan, place them on a plate with a few sheets of paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
Drizzle with honey and enjoy the flower fritters while they’re still hot.
Black Locust Flower Syrup
1l glass jar
2 cups of filtered water
2 cups unrefined sugar
Remove the flowers from the green cluster stem.
Fill the jar loosely with the black locust flowers
To make a simple syrup, boil two cups of water and mix it with the sugar. Stir well until all the sugar dissolves.
Pour the hot syrup over the flowers in the Mason jar. Screw the lid on and leave to cool.
Once the mix has cooled to room temperature, place the jar in the fridge overnight.
The next day, strain out the flowers, pour the syrup into a clean jar and store in the fridge.
Mix it in your favourite cocktail, add it to baked goods or simply use it as a cordial.
Note: The flowers are crispy when picked, and can be refrigerated for later use. They are most fragrant right before opening. If the blossoms are brown or falling to the ground, the season has passed and it’s too late to pick and eat the flowers.
Only the flowers should be gathered and consumed as the rest of the tree is toxic.