How To Make An Edible Strawberry Tree
Photo Credit: Flickr Somegeekintn
How to Make an Edible Strawberry Tree
Years ago, when my daughter Kate graduated from Seattle Art Institute and got her culinary degree, the pressure was on! I needed to come up with something that was appropriate to fit along with culinary basics and yet was edible.
Luckily, I had saved an article that I ran across many years ago in Sunset magazine long before edible arrangements were popular. It was a recipe for making an edible strawberry tree which I used as a centerpiece for the table.
It was surprisingly easy to make. It was also so beautiful that no one would disturb it and eat it! (I finally dismantled it and then everyone would eat it,
I formed my strawberry tree in a clay pot and used green florist Styrofoam. It turned out perfectly symmetrical. I didn't think it was possible to get it to look so wonderful for the first try but it turned out beautifully.
The picture of the strawberry tree is another variation and not how mine looked.
The recipe as well below is one for a chocolate strawberry tree but you can eliminate the chocolate and have it turn out just as lovely.
Edible Chocolate Strawberry Tree
- Package of 4-inch toothpicks
- 4 pounds of large strawberries nicely formed but not too ripe
- Double boiler
- Six squares of baking chocolate or white chocolate
- 12-inch foam cone (florist)
- Put strawberries in strainer and rinse with water. Discard any damaged strawberries.
- Place a toothpick in each strawberry, inserting it through the top. Leave at least 2-1/2 inches of toothpick sticking out.
- Set up double boiler. (If you don't have a double boiler, you can place a glass bowl on top of a saucepan). Water in bottom pan should not touch the top pan or bowl. Turn the burner on low-medium.
- Place baking squares in top bowl or pan. Stir until chocolate melts.
- Remove from heat. Do not overheat the chocolate as it will burn.
- Place foam cone in the center of an angel food pan or bundt pan. This will hold the foam upright.
- Dip the strawberries by dipping the lower 75 percent in the chocolate. Allow a few seconds for the chocolate to dry/harden. Or set on wax paper and allow to set. Make sure you set them down so the stem is against the paper.
- Push the toothpick end of each strawberry into the foam starting at the bottom.
- Work with strawberries inserting until foam is covered.
- Tuck greenery or some decorative colored plastic wrap, etc. around the pan bottom to cover the pan.
Tips on Making Edible Fruit Arrangements
- Make sure your fruits are well formed and not overripe
- It is better to have them a tad under-ripe than overripe
- Work quickly with fruits so as not to make the fruit mushy
- Use sharp knives or scissors to quickly make cuts or cut into patterns
- Use wooden skewers or toothpicks to create your culinary masterpiece
- Use kitchen twine or other nontoxic medium for tying any parts
- Make sure you work on clean and uncontaminated surfaces when preparing the fruit
- Remove any blemished parts of the fruit as they will only further ripen
- Make sure that fruits are kept cool and not overheated before or after construction of your arrangement
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap when complete to keep free of dust, etc.
- Store in a cool place
- It is best not to use edible fruit arrangements in sunny or hot locations as they will overheat and can develop bacteria
- Provide additional toothpicks with your centerpiece or arrangements so people can nibble on them easily
Summing It Up
Again, this is a chocolate version although mine was not.
As I mentioned, I used a regular clay pot and purchased the Styrofoam shape. I secured my Styrofoam in the pot and then had my strawberry tree arising out of the pot. The clay pot held it all in place and it was quite steady.
There is another version on line that I have seen where brown sugar is used to create 'dirt' covering the 'soil' with plastic wrap.
One thing to remember is that if you use this as a centerpiece on a hot day, keep it out of the sun, especially if you go with the chocolate version.
Also let people know that it is edible! It seemed that a lot of the people at our party thought it was 'fake' because it was so pretty. Just a little reassurance that it is to eat goes a long way - like taking the first strawberry off and eating it yourself!
It is a wonderful way to present a very delicious fruit and a dynamite centerpiece that adds beauty to the table.
Let creativity be your guide and configure different shapes. There are so many edible arrangements these days that it is truly a culinary basics artistic technique and yet a great way to prepare fruits!
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