Acacia or locust (false acacia)Robinia pseudoacacia) is an elegant, fast-growing tree whose leafy foliage lends lightness, while its branches are covered with sharp thorns. But its white papillon-like flowers in drooping clusters, very fragrant, often completely cover it in spring, offering a magnificent sight. A honey-producing ornamental tree, the acacia attracts bees during flowering: these foragers produce the famous acacia honey, liquid, quite golden in color.
The flowers offer even other benefits as they are used in cooking to flavor creams, ice creams and other drinks. Be careful, all other parts of the tree prove toxic (vomiting and purging), especially the seeds inside the flattened reddish-brown pods, as well as the root and inner bark (cambium), despite its licorice flavor. Just pick the flowers from the acacia tree!
When and where to pick acacia flowers?
Since locust is a tree that is often planted on the sides of roads or railroad tracks, because its absorbent roots, which produce many shoots, allow it to spread and strengthen the ground with unstable tendencies, it is better not to go and pick flowers from these trees. which will obviously be very polluted. In addition, sometimes they are quite high, and then a ladder will be needed. However, I remember a farmer who was greedy for acacia flower hairdresses, who brought them to his wife every spring as soon as the trees bloomed: he climbed into the cab of his tractor to harvest!
If you planted a acacia in your gardenhe will be able to offer you his flowers, or you will find a suitable locust tree in the hedge or at the edge of the forest, close to fields cultivated using organic farming methods. It would be a shame to poison yourself with flowers that contain pesticides and other chemicals.
Depending on the region of France, the locust tree blooms from April to June. You should not wait too long, because the flowering period remains quite short. Harvesting is best done in the morning, after the dew disappears and before the strong rays of the sun arrive.
You need to collect all the flowers and clusters of flower buds with a stem before you can make the rubs. Do not wait to cook them as they are fragile and perishable.
Acacia flower grits, recipe
You choose bunches of acacia flowers that also have flower buds, because if the bunch is in full bloom, some of the flowers will be overdeveloped and therefore less good.
To make the donut dough, gather the following ingredients:
- 150 g T65 flour (or 90 g flour + 60 g corn starch)
- 1 egg
- 1 packet of baking powder
- 20 cl of water
- 20 cl of liquid cream, yogurt or whole milk
- clusters of acacia flowers
- powdered sugar
- cooking oil
In a salad bowl, put flour with cornstarch, if you want a lighter dough, yeast and egg, mix well. Gradually pour in the water and then the crème fraîche, which can be replaced with yogurt or whole milk to limit the addition of fat.
Whisk everything together, then add perfume (optional) as this can destroy the very scent of the acacia flowers.
Heat the frying oil bath to 170°C. Prepare bunches of acacia flowers and dip them in the donut batter at the last minute, patting dry before dipping them in the oil. Monitor cooking by turning the bunches: 1 to 2 minutes is usually enough. When the clumps are golden, remove them with a slotted spoon and place the donuts on absorbent paper. Dust them with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
Like all baked goods, Acacia Flower Porridge is a rich, fatty and sweet treat, so it should be consumed in moderation, especially if you are overweight!
Acacia flower cake
For those who hate baking, here's an easier, lower-calorie recipe, similar to a variation of yogurt cake flavored with acacia flowers. Children's play from preparation to serving: you will understand why… Prepare the following ingredients:
- 2 natural yogurts
- 3 organic eggs
- 2 pots of sugar
- ½ jar of sunflower or sesame oil for a stronger scent
- 3 pots of T65 flour
- 1 packet of baking powder
- clusters of acacia flowers
Prepare the dough by mixing the ingredients in the following order: yogurt, eggs, sugar, oil, flour and finally yeast.
Pour in half the batter with the butter and flour, then dip the bunches of acacia flowers, heads down and stems up. Carefully add the remaining batter so that the stems are protruding from the cake.
Bake in an oven preheated to 180°C (th. 6) for 35 to 40 minutes. To check for doneness, insert a knife blade, which should come out dry.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool so that the flowers can soak into it well.
Before serving the cake, carefully remove the stems by pulling on the shaggy stem, it's very funny. The flowers left in the cake can of course be eaten.
Acacia flower wine
This acacia flower wine, with floral aromas, gently sweet, can be consumed in moderation, chilled, as an aperitif with friends: you will surprise them! There is a bit of a wait to allow time for maceration, but you will appreciate it. Equip yourself with the following ingredients to make 3 liters of acacia flower wine:
- 50 clusters of acacia flowers
- 3 liters of organic dry white wine (Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Pinot blanc, etc.)
- 25 cl of fruit alcohol at a temperature of 40°
- 250 g of brown sugar
Remove the acacia flowers from the clusters, removing any dirt or insects. Put them in a large jar or jar and add the brown sugar and mix well.
Pour in the white wine and alcohol, then stir again. Close the jar or jar tightly and place it in a dark place at room temperature. Allow two weeks for the flowers to macerate, turning the container upside down every 2 to 3 days to mix the contents.
After this period of maceration, open and filter the wine through cheesecloth, squeezing out the flowers well. Bottle and store in the refrigerator.
Raw acacia flowers release more of their sweet, sweet scent than cooked ones. They can be used to decorate raw vegetable or fruit salads, but you should not overuse raw flowers, which can cause vomiting.
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