This is the most straightforward recipe for using black locust flowers. Make a light beer batter, quickly dip the clusters of flowers, and deep-fry them until crisp and golden. With a heady, honeyed fragrance and delicate floral flavor, they make for a lovely seasonal treat to be enjoyed hot, drizzled with honey—preferably locust or acacia honey—or sprinkled with sugar.
If you prefer to serve the fritters as an appetizer, skip the sugar in the beer batter and sprinkle the fritters with salt once fried. They can be paired with other fried vegetables, such as zucchini flowers and sage leaves, and served in a mixed platter of fried delicacies.
As for the batter, choose preferably a pale ale or a red ale. I found a beer with an intense honey aroma and it was a perfect complement to the flowers’ fragrance.
Elderflowers can be fried in the exact same way, and served either savory or sweet.
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons cold beer
- 12 clusters (small stems with blossoms attached) black locust flowers
- About 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
- Honey, for drizzling
First, make the batter. In a bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and sugar, then slowly add the water, stirring with a whisk to remove any lumps. When the water has been completely incorporated, whisk in the cold beer, little by little in order to avoid creating lumps. The batter should be quite thick, so that when you dip the flowers into it, it covers them with a thin film. Let the batter rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Gently shake the clusters of black locust flowers to remove dust and unwanted insects. Do not wash them under running water; otherwise, they will get soggy and it will be dangerous to fry them, as they will make the hot oil splatter everywhere.
Heat two inches of vegetable oil in a large skillet. Check if the temperature is right by dipping the handle of a wooden spoon in it: if it is immediately surrounded by tiny bubbles, the oil is ready for frying.
Working one cluster at a time, dip the flower clusters in the beer batter and gently shake them to remove excess batter. Lay the flowers into the oil, well-spaced apart, and fry for two minutes per side, until crisp and golden. Fry the flowers in batches, so they won’t stick together.
Remove the fritters from the oil and lay them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Sprinkle with sugar or drizzle with honey and enjoy while still hot, plucking off the golden blossoms to eat (the stems will be too stringy).