Posts Tagged ‘how to preserve herbs for decorative use on baking’

How to Crystallize flowers, petals, and leaves

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

Crystallizing flowers, petals, and leaves is deceptively easier than it sounds. The small amount of effort required is more than worth the effort in the compliments you will receive, not to mention the adoration and feeling of importance that your guests will feel upon seeing your handiwork gracing their appetizers. (for recipe ideas for homemade appetizers, non-alcoholic drinks, cheeses, etc, go to

Having some foresight in summer months when blooms are plentiful, or being lucky enough to live in a temperate zone where you are still enjoying nature’s beauty will afford you of your palate from which to work. Otherwise, if in winter months with no flowers to freshly pick from your own organic garden, you must rely on your local organic florist for your choices.

First and foremost, and definatly most importantly, select and use only the flowers that you know are edible: such as borage, garlic and onion flowers, pot marigold, sweet marjoram, nasturtium, red clover, thyme, sweet Cicely, lavender, sweet violet and rose are examples. You can also use the very decorative fresh organic herb leaves such as lemon balm, mints, lemon verbena, and sweet Cicely.

1. Pat dry your with a soft cloth or paper towel, your selection of blossoms and sprays.

2. Cut the clustered flowers, such as those of marjoram, into small sprays. When using colourful roses, you must carefully pull off each rose petal separately. Cut all individual flowers from their stalks. Your herbs need to be cut into small sprays, with any larger leafed herb pulled off individually for chrystallizing. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, whip an egg white until it is just frothy.

4.With a small camel-hair paintbrush, paint every part of every surface of the plant material (herb spray, leaves, petals) you wish to use with the whipped egg-white, covering it completely to exclude all air from accessing it.

5. Lightly sprinkle superfine sugar over the egg-covered flower, petal, or leaf; again be sure to cover the surface completely with the sugar.

6. Now, carefully place the sugared flowers, petals, and leaves on waxed or parchment paper, allowing space betwen your creations.

7. Leave your sugared decorations to dry and crystallize for at least two hours.

8. When completly dry to your light touch, you can store them in single layers between papers in an airtight container until needed. Or, you can use them immediately to decorate other creations: cakes, pies, platters, appetizer trays…..your imagination for their visual appeal and use will ensue.

Then wait for the compliments!