Lavender Shortcake Biscuits
5oz (150g) softened butter
2.5oz (60g) icing sugar, plus extra to serve
2.5oz (60g) ground rice, or rice flour, sifted
50z (150g) plain flour, sifted
Heaped teaspoon of dried lavender flower heads
Pre heat oven to gas mark 4 (180 degrees).
Cream the butter and icing sugar together until light and fluffy, then gradually work in the sifted flours and lavender flower heads.
Roll out onto a lightly floured board to a thickness of about 5mm, then stamp out 15 biscuits by placing a 9in round pastry cutter on the pastry.
Give it a harp tap, then simply lift the cutter and the piece will drop out.
Arrange the biscuits on a lightly greased baking tray and gently prick each biscuit with a fork.
Bake for 10 – 12 minute, then leave on a baking tray for about 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Finish off with a light dusting of icing sugar.
Lavender ice cream (serves 4)
6 free range eggs
125g / 4oz sugar
250ml / 8fl oz whole milk
250ml / 8fl oz double cream
Handful of dried lavender flower heads
1 vanilla pod split lengthwise, seeds scraped out and pod finely chopped
Infuse the lavender in the milk for about 30mins. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the eggs yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Combine the milk, chopped vanilla pod and seeds in a heavy bottomed pan, bring to the boil and simmer for 4-5mins.
Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 30 seconds. Pour the milk mixture onto the eggs and sugar, whisking continuously until smooth and creamy, then return the mixture to the saucepan.
Place the pan over a medium heat and stir continuously for 4-5mins, or until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl.
Softly whip the cream and fold into the mixture. Pour into freezer container and cover with tight-fitting lid. Place container in the freezer for 2 hours, then beat with a fork to break up the ice crystals.
Return to the freezer and repeat the process after another 2 hours. Return to the freezer until completely frozen.
Jamie Oliver’s lavender crème brûlée (serves 4)
2 vanilla pods
300ml double cream
200ml whole milk
8 large free-range or organic egg yolks
a bunch of lavender, flowers picked
4 tablespoons caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 140°C /gas 1.
Score the vanilla pods lengthways and scrape out the vanilla seeds with a knife or a teaspoon. Place the seeds into a saucepan, add the pods, cream and milk and slowly bring to the boil. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, get yourself a large bowl that will fit over your pan and beat together the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy.Remove the vanilla pods from the pan and, little by little, add the milk and cream to the egg mixture in the bowl, whisking continuously.
Using the same saucepan, bring the mixture to a simmer and put the bowl on top of the pan. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes over the simmering water, stirring often, until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Stir in a small handful of lavender flowers, but the trick is to be delicate – you only need a hint of its distinctive, strong flavour.
Remove any bubbles or froth from the mixture before dividing it between your ramekins. Stand these in a high-sided roasting tray, and fill the tray with water halfway up the ramekins.
Place carefully in the preheated oven and cook for around 30 to 45 minutes or until the mixture has set but is still slightly wobbly in the centre. Allow to cool at room temperature then place in the fridge until ready.
To serve, sprinkle each crème brûlée with a tablespoon of caster sugar and some more of the lavender flowers and caramelize under a very hot grill or using the chef’s torch.
Lavender Caesar Dressing (taken from the Lavender Cookbook by Sharon Shipley)
2 cups ricotta cheese
½ cup of extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup of country style Dijon mustard
1/3 a cup of grated Parmasan cheese
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons dried lavender buds, finely ground in a spice grinder
1 ½ teaspoons crushed hot-pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon chilli power
In a blender combine the ricotta, oil, mustard, parmesan, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, anchovy paste, coriander, lavender, pepper flakes, cumin and chilli powder. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate.
Lavender lamb chops
8 lamb chops
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, or 1 tablespoon dried
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried
½ teaspoon fresh lavender, or 1/4 dried
Chop herbs very finely and mix together. Pat the herb mixture onto the chops, distributing as evenly as possible. Wrap the chops in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or longer (up to 24 hours).
When ready to cook, remove wrap, salt chops lightly and bring to room temperature. Preheat grill and cook for 3 – 5 minutes per side, depending on thickness, for medium rare
15g dried lavender heads
500ml (18fl oz) boiling water
150g (5½oz) sugar
1.2 litres (2 pints) cold water
Put the flower heads into a saucepan and pour over the boiling water. Bring to the boil again and simmer for a minute or two. Turn off the heat and leave for 10 minutes to steep. Strain. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the cold water. Squeeze the lemons directly into the pan then strain again if you want rid of any pips.