A couple of months ago I posted a guide to using edible flowers, and some of the most useful flowers I found were hibiscus flowers. They look stunning in cocktails, and they’re also good in verrines – starters served in small glass bowls or ramekins. The hibiscus flower is a show-off.
The only way to get hold of hibiscus flowers conveniently is to order a jar from wild hibiscus – also available from, of course, Amazon.
The producers helpfully provide a little recipe booklet attached to the lid, and there was one recipe in that which I thought might be worth trying. Here it is, with my amendments – it is very quick and simple.
Make these bite-sized
Make sure you make the crostini as small as you can because they a quite difficult to eat – the one large bite approach is best. The ones in the photograph are at least twice the size they should be.
Don’t keep your brie in the fridge
Also make sure that you put a generous slice of oozing brie (you don’t keep it in the fridge do you? No, of course not) on each crostini.
Try some British brie
You could try some Brie de Weardale (which is a bit stronger than the French Brie) or some of the fabulous Waterloo.
Follow this link for more about crostini, and other ideas for things to top them with.
Recipe for hibiscus crostini with brie and almonds
For about twelve people with drinks
- 1 jar of hibiscus flowers in syrup
- 300g/10 oz ripe brie
- A small diametered baguette – you’ll need at least a 7”/20 cm length
- 50g/¾ cup flaked untoasted almonds (of course these crostini will be about a thousand times better if you buy untoasted and dry-fry just at the last moment – but if you’re in a hurry you could buy ready-toasted)
- Final garnish – snipped chives or a few thyme leaves
- Butter for spreading
- If, by some chance, the brie is in the fridge take it out immediately and allow it to get to room temperature as quickly as possible and for as long as possible.
- Cut the bread into thin (¼”/1 cm) slices and toast (you could do this in the oven briefly if that’s easier – about three minutes in a hot oven will be enough)
- Meanwhile dry-fry the almond flakes and keep warm
- Allow the crostini to cool a little, then spread thinly with butter (this will help to keep the crostini crisp – the fat forms a protective barrier between the bread and any syrup)
- Top with the oozing brie, and the almonds
- Top each crostini with a hibiscus flower and scatter over whatever herb you have handy
This post is dedicated to Bruno and Julia Posset