Blog: Grow Your Own Pastry Garden | The French Pastry School

Blog: Grow Your Own Pastry Garden

Grow Your Own Pastry Garden
The French Pastry School |
October 22, 2014

When the internet became what it is today—marketplace, teacher, doctor, book, bookmark, etc.—we were given “permission” to step outside of our chosen career paths and learn or improve skills on our own. We could learn how to sew, cook, clean, build, repair, play an instrument, learn a different language, and the list goes on and on. Now, we, who are not farmers by trade, can learn how to plant and grow full gardens, even in urban environs! Also many cities are equipping residents with public spaces in which to garden—the Chicago Park District touts nearly 70 community gardens within city limits, and stores and organizations like local botanic gardens, farmer’s markets, or big box home improvement stores are teaching classes on container and urban gardening.

You may be thinking, “Yes, but how does this apply to pastry?” Here are some ideas for you when planning for next year’s garden:

Herbs could be used as flavorings for breads, pie doughs, infusions—think sage and thyme added to savory or sweet pie doughs. Rosemary flatbread. Tarragon-infused whipped cream. Combine dried lavender with sugar for a floral addition to cookies, batters, and toppings. Basil blends well with berries. Mint pairs with almost anything!

Carrots are great in cake batters, cookies, and muffins—look for hummingbird cake, carrot cake (or variations thereof), or morning glory muffins. Since carrots are a sweeter vegetable and easy to trim, you could julienne, shave, or carve them for a lovely garnish. Carrots also come in different colors so you can mix up your color palette on the plate, too.

Sweet potatoes = PIE! Hand pies, small pies, large pies. Whatever your fancy, a sweet potato can fit the bill. Add some maple syrup, bourbon, and spice for a perfect holiday gift. You can also add it to a quick bread batter for a nice autumnal twist.

Zucchini is also a good addition to quick breads and breakfast cakes. In some quick bread recipes, you can use shredded zucchini as an alternative to oil—try 1:1 veg for oil; add a little more zucchini if your batter is less moist than usual. Throw some chocolate or butterscotch chips in before baking for a little bit of zip!

Tomatoes can be made into a tart or a pie for a summery, savory alternative to the sweet table.

Some flowers are edible, look beautiful arranged on a dessert, and are helpful to other plants in your garden. Check out: marigolds, geraniums, nasturtiums, borage, roses, violets, lilacs, dandelions, and apple blossoms for a good start. Be sure to check with a reputable source before eating as many plants are poisonous, and remember not to spray them with pesticides or fertilizers if you plan to eat them!

It would be wise to check which growing zone you live in, as there are environmental factors that go into whether a particular fruit or veggie will grow or not. Also consider the space you plan to use, as some plants need plenty of space while others really take over a garden.  If you have questions, the internet is teeming with green thumbs willing and able to make your pastry garden dreams come true.,0, accessed 8/27/2014. LD, accessed 8/27/2014. LD, accessed 9/8/2014. LD