Osmanthus flowers fall on the moon, and the heavenly fragrance spreads beyond the clouds.
—Song Zhiwen, Tang Dynasty
When osmanthus flowers exude their fragrance in autumn, it beckons one to remember the legend of the osmanthus tree on the moon that shades the moon goddess’s palace. It is believed in traditional Chinese medicine that osmanthus flowers have a warm essence and are pungent. They invigorate the blood, replenish qi, and improve immune functions.
Osmanthus flowers have a sweet, strong fragrance that can promote feelings of comfort and pleasantness—making it a natural match for desserts and pastries. Pick fresh osmanthus flowers, blanch in boiling water, dry them, then place in a bottle and pickle with honey to create a sweet sauce that can be poured on yams, taros, or used in the filling for osmanthus flower pie.
Osmanthus Flower Yams (serves two):
3 teaspoon sugar
½ cup dried osmanthus flowers
⅔ cup honey
Make the osmanthus flower syrup: add ½ teaspoon salt to dried osmanthus flowers, soak in water for 20 minutes, and drain. Heat water to a boil and steam the flowers for 10 minutes.
Let cool, then put them in a dry container disinfected with boiling water. Coat the flowers with honey and seal the container. Let sit for 4 to 5 days. The longer the sitting time, the stronger the aroma.
Prepare the yams:
Peel the yam and dice. Toss with the sugar, steam 15 minutes, then remove and let cool. Crush the yam, then put it into a cookie mold to form several little yam cakes. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then pour the osmanthus flower syrup evenly over each cake and serve.
Enjoy the five flower dishes that Magnifissance has prepared for you: Hibiscus and Fruit Salad, Chrysanthemum Golden Rice, Osmanthus Flower Yams, Jasmine Tofu, and Rose Nectar.