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Deep-fried Courgette Flowers

Deep-fried Courgette Flowers with Graceburn Cheese and Honey


Courgette flowers bloom from mid-spring to mid-summer. At Fortnum's, the flowers are grown on the roof, and are drizzled with honey taken from our own rooftop hives. We use Graceburn London goat's cheese in this recipe, but any light variety will work.

As anyone who has grown courgette flowers knows well, they spread like triffid. Just pick the flowers gently, still attached to the courgette, and use immediatley.


INGREDIENTS - serves 4

8 courgette flowers, with small courgettes attached

200g Graceburn Cheese

Vegetable oil, for deep frying

50g plain flour

Sea salt

Good-quality runny honey, to serve


FOR THE BATTER

200g tempura flower

About 250ml sparkling water


THE RECIPE


Carefully open the courgette flowers, taking care not to tear the petals. There will be a small stamen inside each one. Twist it and carefully pull it out. Blend the Graceburn cheese in a food processor until it is slightly whipped. Either pipe or spoon it into the courgette flowers. Gently close the flowers, twisting the ends together to seal.

To make the batter, put the tempura flour into a bowl and whisk in the sparkling water a little at a time until you have a smooth mixture with no lumps.

Heat the vegetable oil to 180 degrees in a deep-fat fryer or a large, deep saucepan (if you use a saucepan, don't fill it more than a third full or you risk it boiling over). Meanwhile, put the flour in a shallow dish and coat the stuffed courgettes in it, gently shaking off the excess. Now dip the flowers into the batter, ensuring everything is completely covered. Fry them 2 or 3 at a time for about 3 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.

Drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt. Divide between 4 serving plates and drizzle with a little honey. Serve with a heritage tomato and shallot salad.

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