Sift the flour and salt together. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the egg and some of the milk. Mix gradually to a stiff consistency, using more milk as required. Beat well, adding the rest of the milk. Leave to stand for about 30 minutes before using. Wash the leaves and flower heads and remove leaves from the flower heads, leaving a little stalk to make a good shape. Dry well. Dip each flower head or leaf into the batter, holding it by the spare stem. Deep fry at 220˚C (425˚F) until golden brown on both sides. Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot. (When hot enough the fat should show signs of hazing. It can be tested by dropping a small spot of batter into the fat. If the temperature is correct the batter will rise to the surface immediately and then begin to colour.)
I like to do a Japanese version of this dish combining only the best shapes of the flowers together and also contrasting the strong flavours of, say, the alexanders with the delicate hint of flavour you get from the apple blossom. Serve with a sauce made from soy sauce and saki mixed.
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