Sweet Fried Zucchini Flowers

Fritto di Fiori di Zucchini Dolci

This recipe comes from an anonymous cookery book written in 1891 called Il cuoco perfetto marchigiano—The Perfect Marchigiani Cook.


  • 8–12 (male) zucchini flowers, depending on size, but not too open (females have the beginnings of a zucchini, males have only a stem)


  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • dry breadcrumbs
  • light olive oil
  • rum
  • Alchermes liqueur
  • caster sugar

Crema dura

Thick Confectioner’s Custard

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • ½ litre/¾ pt milk
  • peel of ½ lemon


Make the custard first

Beat the egg yolks, sugar and flour together. Bring the milk to the boil with the lemon peel, lower the heat and slowly add the egg, sugar and flour mixture, stirring continuously. Cook for 10 minutes and keep on stirring. Be careful that the bottom does not catch. Remove from the heat and leave to get cold.

Wash and dry the zucchini flowers. Remove the pistules. Fill each flower with 1 tablespoon of the thick confectioner’s custard. Gently squeeze the petals together just above the mixture. Dust the flowers first in flour, then dip them in the beaten egg, finishing with the breadcrumbs. A light hand must be used for this exercise.

Deep-fry the flowers, in a light olive oil, until golden. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper. Sprinkle the flowers with rum and Alchermes, shake caster sugar over them and serve at once.