Lavender- Culinary and otherwise and a recipe or two

Recipe #1 

Lavender Cookies

Ingredients

2 teaspoons culinary lavender flowers
2 cups all-purpose flour
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch of salt
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 375ºF.
Stir together flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
Beat butter and shortening for 30 to 60 seconds. Add sugar and lavender buds. Beat till fluffy. Beat in egg,
milk and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the mixture. Beat until well-combined.
Drop teaspoonfuls of dough onto an ungreased cookie
sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden-brown. Serve with hot tea.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Sorry – no picture to go with that one.  It is too hot to bake in the oven, today.

And I have heard some people say recently that eating lavender was not appealing to them.  So, I didn’t want to push the matter, but I thought I’d look into the use and cultivation of culinary lavender.  And I think it may be that all culinary lavender is not equal.

In order for lavender to be sold for culinary purposes, it has to be grown as an agricultural crop- (human safe insecticides and fertilizers, etc)  and it has to be harvested and processed differently than lavender used for aromatic purposes.

That is all well and good ( and expensive)- but I wanted to come up with my own harvested culinary lavender, and that is where I discovered some things on my own.

 

lavender and Aiden 008

Lavender grown in your own hedge or bed is acceptable for culinary use.

As long as you don’t treat it with insecticides or sprays.  And it is in the harvesting that the distinct difference can be seen.

 

lavender and heirloom tomatoes 010

dried stem of lavender

As you can see from this single stem above, there are several components to the lavender flower.  The head or spike above contains many flowers or corollas.  In order to use the flowers without overpowering your recipe, you must remove the flower from the calyx.

 lavender and heirloom tomatoes 011 lavender and heirloom tomatoes 012

lavender florets or corollas

Once separated, save the calyx for use in sachets or potpourris-

lavender and heirloom tomatoes 004

this is painstaking and patient work- I found doing it when my husband watched baseball worked for me- it takes about as long as a baseball game lasts to get more than a few tablespoons of usable lavender flowers.

lavender and heirloom tomatoes 007

lavender and heirloom tomatoes 009

flowers and calyx- calyx alone- flower or corolla

Look at the difference in just appearance.  The scent is mainly contained in the calyx and the flowers fragrance is much more subtle.  The flowers also have the bluest appearance of the three.

I also crystalized some of the fresh flowers.  I usually do violets in the spring, so I thought it wouldn’t be too difficult to adapt that process to lavender florets.

HAH!!

It was ridiculously hard.  I managed to get eight florets done in a half an hour.

lavender and heirloom tomatoes 019 separating the florets-

lavender and heirloom tomatoes 020 preparing the egg white-

lavender and heirloom tomatoes 033 processing the sugar to be super-fine-

lavender and heirloom tomatoes 024 tweezering the florets-

lavender and heirloom tomatoes 025 painting outside and inside with egg wash-

 

lavender and heirloom tomatoes 026 coating with sugar-

lavender and heirloom tomatoes 030 drying and baking the florets

in a cool oven-

(sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the baking stage! :)

lavender and heirloom tomatoes 031 and finally attaching to sugar cubes for a decorative effect. 

Here is my second recipe.

  lavender and scones 015

Welsh Scones with lavender and currants

Ingredients:

8oz. (1 cup) self rising flour

4 oz.  (1 stick) butter, cold

pinch of sea salt

4 oz. (1/2 cup) dried currants

1 tsp. lavender,culinary, flowers only

2 TBS. fine sugar

1 egg

1 TBS buttermilk

more sugar for the topping.

lavender and scones 001 lavender and scones 002 lavender and scones 003

Cut butter into flour until looks like corn meal-

 

lavender and scones 004 add salt, currants, lavender, and sugar.

lavender and scones 005 Stir so that currants are coated with flour and not in clumps.

lavender and scones 007 lavender and scones 008

Add egg and buttermilk and stir gently, until completely moistened.

lavender and scones 009 Dump out onto pastry board and pat gently into a 9 x12 rectangle and cut into diamond shapes.

Then put onto a medium hot griddle  and cook until slightly browned on one side.lavender and scones 010 lavender and scones 011

Turn over and cook on the other side, sprinkling a little sugar on top.

lavender and scones 014 lavender and scones 013

These are so light and delicious!

Very More-ish as my friend, Celia, says!

I think the flour is just there to hold the butter into an edible shape, really!

These have been called Welsh Scones, Griddle cakes, and Singin’ Hinnies-

I call them magnificent.

I’ve never had a scone that topped these for lightness or flavor.

You can leave out the lavender if you like, but make these scones.

You won’t be sorry.

13 thoughts on “Lavender- Culinary and otherwise and a recipe or two

  1. We love scones in our house and I haven’t made any for ages. Those sugar cubes look exquisite and should be treasured in a display cabinet ! I also love your analysis of lavender flowers. I have never tried to do what you do, though fishing all the stones out of the teeny tiny wild cherries last month was something of a labour of love… I wonder how they prepare lavender flowers commercially for culinary purposes? It was very fashionable in London to have steamed sponge puddings with lavender scented custard in the 80s. A sort of nostalgia for school puddings, though I don’t remember lavender custard at my school!

  2. Joanna,
    The sugar cubes may end up in a tea cabinet with my teapots and special cups! I was reading an article that said you should use them on fairy cakes (or what we call cupcakes, here)- I think I’d have to invite the fairy queen to make them for quick consumption.
    I have lavender sugar that I use to flavor puddings and ice creams- really, I just like all things lavender. It is one of my favorite scents.

  3. No- just use heads that are full- dry them before you put them with the sugar, and leave them inside an air tight container for at least a week. The longer you leave the lavender and the finer the sugar, the stronger the flavor. It’s just like making vanilla sugar, but with lavender instead of vanilla beans.

  4. Curiouser and curiouser. Thats what I love about the blog world, you learn something all the time. I would never have thought of lavender sugar. I have a couple of cooking books that have recipes for lavender but I’m yet to take the plunge…scones though, ahhh, love them.

  5. Thanks Heidi, I am going to nip outside right now and harvest a little lavender, I thought about making those woven beauties of yours, but I think I would need to see ti being done – but lavender sugar sounds easy! x

  6. Love your lavender wands. I have some of the first ones you made.When gently rubbed they still have their fragrance. The scones are still delicious. I had one today with some tea.

  7. Friend Heidi, because of you I finally tried lavender tea for the first time just last week! I’d always assumed it would taste like it smelled, but it was truly delicious!

    So next summer, when our lavender bush is in flower, I will make tea, scones and lavender wands! Thank you for all the inspiration! :)

  8. Thank you Celia- it all comes from a lifetime love for lavender. This was the longest post I’ve EVER done- the pictures and the recipes just sort of took over! :)
    Try the scones/griddle cakes without the lavender- this is the most tender scone I’ve ever eaten- if you eat it while it is still warm it literally melts in your mouth.
    I made the apricot/almonds fruit paste today.
    My mouth loves you!
    I’m pretending it is health food and having seconds.

  9. Pingback: Mushroom Away Blog

  10. Pingback: My favorite food- - Steps On the Journey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *