Candying flower petals and fruits refers to coating them in a sugar-based glaze and drying them in an oven. Although candied flower petals are mostly used for garnishing pastries and baked goods, candied fruits are often eaten like candies. Only use edible flowers, such as roses, lavender and violets, for candied flowers. Small fruits, such as grapes, can be crystallized in their natural state, but larger fruits, such as apples and peaches, need to be diced first.
Remove the petals from the edible flowers. Fill a nonreactive container with water and 1/4 teaspoon iodized salt, and add the petals. Fill a second nonreactive container half full of water and half full of ice. Glass and ceramic bowls are both nonreactive.
Soak the petals for 3 minutes in the salt solution and then place them in the ice bath until they're firm and turgid, which takes approximately 3 minutes. Remove the petals from the ice bath and place them on paper towels to dry.
Beat together 1 egg white and 1 teaspoon cold water until frothy and smooth. Place a plate on the work area.
Grasp one flower petal with a pair of kitchen tweezers. Brush a thin layer of egg white on the underside of the petal followed by a layer on the top side with a 1/3-inch artist’s or pastry brush. Working over the plate, sprinkle confectioner’s sugar on the underside of the petal and place it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining petals.
Heat the oven to the lowest temperature, usually 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the cookie sheet in the oven with the door slightly ajar.
Dry the petals in the oven until brittle, approximately 45 minutes. Store the petals in an airtight food storage container for up to one year.
Wash and air-dry peeled and diced fruit. You do not need to cut smaller fruits, such as kumquats, before crystallizing.
Heat equal parts water and white granulated sugar over medium heat in a saucepan and attach a candy thermometer. Cook until a syrup forms and it reaches 245 degrees Fahrenheit, which takes approximately 15 minutes.
Put the fruit and simple syrup in a food storage container and allow the fruit to stand for 12 hours.
Heat the oven to 200 F. Pour 1/4 inch white granulated sugar on a plate in an even layer. Drain any excess syrup from the fruit container.
Dredge the fruit in the sugar and place it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the fruit until firm and dried, approximately 2 hours. Arrange the fruit in layers in a food storage container until ready to use. Separate each layer with wax or parchment paper.
If possible, use flowers grown organically without the use of pesticides.