Fans, Flowers, and Butterfly Garnishes

Maybe it's the joy of summer that inspires us in the kitchen. Color is blooming all around us, flowers look fresh, butterflies playfully dart all around. Despite their seasonal inspiration, you can use these garnishes all year long.

Try It!
Here is a recipe from our collection to use with garnishes:

Strawberry Fans

Make strawberry shortcake, one of America's all-time favorite desserts, extra-special by adding a dollop of whipped cream and a strawberry fan.

To make strawberry fan garnishes:
  1. Select a medium sized, uniformly shaped strawberry with hull attached. Wash and dry thoroughly.

  2. Place the strawberry on cutting board. Cut four or five thin slices with a paring knife lengthwise through the strawberry, leaving slices attached just below the hull.

    Cut a few thin slices with paring knife when garnishing.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Cut a few thin slices with paring knife.

  3. Fan slices apart slightly, being careful to keep all slices attached to hull. Place on plate or food to secure in position.

    Fan slices apart.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Fan slices apart.

  4. Garnish as desired.

    Garnish with strawberry fan.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Garnish with Strawberry Fans.

Cherry Flowers

Add a hint of color to individual servings of rice pudding by trimming with a cherry flower and a small sprig of mint.

To make cherry flower garnishes:
  1. Place a cherry on cutting board. Cut it into six wedges with a sharp paring knife, being careful not to cut through bottom third of cherry.

    Cut cherry into six wedges when making garnishes.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Cut cherry into six wedges.

  2. Use the tip of the knife to gently separate and spread the cherry segments to resemble flower petals.

    Gently pull the cherry segments to make petals when makign cherry flower garnishes.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Gently pull on the cherry segments
    to make petals.

  3. If desired, place a tiny piece of candied fruit or peel in center of flower and accent with leaves of fresh mint.

  4. Garnish as desired.

    Garnish with finished Cherry Flowers.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Garnish with finished Cherry Flowers.

Sugared Fruit

Trim a silver tray with elegant pastries with delicate sugared fruit.

To make sugared fruit garnishes:
  1. Wash fruit. Gently blot dry with paper towels or let air-dry on paper towels.

  2. Beat egg white in small bowl with fork until foamy.

    Beat egg whites until foamy when garnishing.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Beat egg whites until foamy.

  3. Brush egg white onto each piece of fruit with paintbrush or pastry brush, coating all sides of fruit thinly and evenly.

    Brush egg white onto fruit when garnishing.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Brush egg white onto fruit.

  4. Place fruit on waxed paper that has been covered with granulated sugar. Sprinkle a light even coating of sugar over fruit with teaspoon.

    Sprinkle sugar over fruit when garnishing.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Sprinkle sugar over fruit.

  5. Let sugared fruit stand at room temperature until coating is dry. Trim with nontoxic leaves, if desired.

  6. Garnish as desired.

    Garnish with Sugared Fruit.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.

Sugared Flowers

Spruce up tortes, fruitcakes, or steamed puddings with a cascade of sugared flowers.

To make sugared flower garnishes:
  1. Wash fresh, small, edible flowers such as geraniums, roses, nasturtiums, violets, and marigolds. Gently blot dry or let air-dry on paper towels.

  2. Beat egg white in small bowl with fork until foamy, as pictured above.

  3. Brush egg white onto each flower with paintbrush, coating both sides of petals thinly and evenly.

    Brush flowers with egg whites.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Brush flowers with egg whites.

  4. Place flower on large sheet of waxed paper that has been covered with superfine sugar.

    Place flower on waxed paper covered in sugar.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Place flower on waxed paper
    covered in sugar.

  5. Spoon additional superfine sugar into sieve. Sprinkle a light, even coating of sugar over each flower. If any areas are not coated, repeat layers of egg white and sugar.

    Sprinkle sugar from sieve onto flower.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Sprinkle sugar from sieve onto flower.

  6. Let sugared flowers stand at room temperature until coating is dry.

  7. Garnish as desired.

    Garnish with Sugared Flowers.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Garnish with Sugared Flowers.

Lemon and Lime Butterflies

Add a flourish to baked cod by serving each portion with a delicate lemon butterfly.

To make lemon and lime butterfly garnishes:
  1. Wash citrus fruit; dry thoroughly. Starting at one end of lemon, cut a thin strip of peel around fruit with vegetable peeler or citrus stripper.

    Cut a thin strip of peel all the way around the fruit when garnishing.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Cut a thin strip of peel all of the way
    around the fruit.

  2. Repeat, starting at the other end.

    Peel fruit when garnishing.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Repeat peeling from other side.


  3. Place both strips on cutting board. Using paring knife, cut peel into very thin strips, each about 1 inch long.

    Cut peel into very thin strips when garnishing.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Cut peel into very thin strips.

  4. Place the partially peeled lemon on cutting board. Cut off ends at place where peel has been stripped; discard ends.

    Thinly slice remaining lemon crosswise.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Thinly slice remaining lemon crosswise.

  5. Thinly slice remaining lemon crosswise. Cut each slice into thirds.

    Cut each slice into thirds.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Cut each slice into thirds.

  6. To make a butterfly, arrange two lemon wedges on desired food or plate, with points of wedges touching at center.

    Arrange lemon wedges, with wedge points touching.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Arrange lemon wedges,
    with wedge points touching.

  7. To make antennae, carefully place two strips of peel where pieces touch.

    Place strips of peel at meeting point.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Place strips of peel at meeting point.

  8. Garnish as desired.

    Garnish with citrus butterflies.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Garnish with citrus butterflies.

Without a doubt, fans and butterflies are beautiful garnishes. Another sweet garnish that most people can't turn down is the chocolate garnish. We'll learn how to make them in the next section.