Ever since I started gardening, I’ve grown lavender. It’s easy to grow, beautiful to look at, and smells like heaven. It’s one of my favorite herbs. However, up until recently, I never thought to bake with it. I have no idea what variety I have- possibly English lavender- but according the the internet some varieties are better for baking and eating than others.
Drying LavenderMy lavender shrub is huge this year, and as pretty as it is, it’s a shame to let the flowers go to waste. I collected a bunch of stems for drying. I always use the same method: cut the stems quite long, gather a bunch by the stems, tie a long piece of kitchen twine tightly around the stems, fasten a paper bag over the florets, hang the bunch by the twine in a cool dry place (I use a closet). In about a week, the florets should be dry enough to remove from the stems and store. Repeat this process. It takes a lot of drying to get a good amount for storage.
The RecipesThere are a number of lavender recipes on Pinterest. Often lavender is paired with lemon, or Earl Grey tea. For good reason, they’re delicious combinations!
I picked a couple of recipes to try: Lavender London Fog Latte and Lavender Lemon Squares.
The Lavender London Fog Latte from Gimme Some Oven is pretty easy. I made the tea with the Earl Grey tea I bought from DAVIDs TEA. It’s a loose tea so adding a 1/2 tsp of lavender isn’t an inconvenience. Then, adding vanilla, a little bit of raw sugar, and frothed steam milk gave me this result.
The Lavender Lemon Squares were a bit more complicated. The recipe I found on Pinterest called for 8 eggs. I do not own chickens, so that wasn’t going to happen. Instead, I adapted this Lemon Bars recipe from BHG. Here’s my version.
2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp grated lemon peel
3/4 very cold butter
Set oven to 350 F. Line a 9X13 pan with parchment paper.
In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and lemon peel. Cube cold butter. Add butter to processor and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes or until lightly golden.
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
3 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp of dried lavender
1 tsp of grated lemon peel
3/4 cup of lemon juice, about 2 large lemons
1/4 cup of blend cream
4 large eggs
In food processor, pulse the lavender flowers until very finely chopped. Add sugar and blend well. Add flour and lemon peel. Blend. Move sugar mixture to a large bowl. Add lemon juice and cream. Lightly beat eggs, add to sugar mixture and stir well.The results were lovely! The lavender flavour is subtle and not overpowering. They’re great with a hot cup of Chai tea.
Pour the liquid over baked crust. Bake for 20 minutes (at least) or until filling sets. Let cool. Cut into squares.
Other recipes I plan on trying in the future (too many sweets this week!) are:
Lavender Honey Cupcakes
Lemon Lavender Loaf
I hope you give baking with this herb a try. Lavender is more than a pretty face!