All Things Herbal

Christine would spend all her time in a lavender field if she could!

"I love surrounding myself with all things lavender and enjoy cooking with it during our long Minnesota winters.  For those looking for culinary lavender, I've ordered from Penzeys when I've been in short supply." 

Here are a few of my favorite recipes!

Lavender Jelly

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together the butter and sugar.  Beat the egg and blend into butter/sugar mixture.  Mix in lavender flowers and flour.  Drop batter by teaspoonfuls onto un-greased cookie sheets.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove cookies to cooling rack and sprinkle with decorative sugar and lavender flowers if desired.

 4 TB dried lavender
 4 TB powdered pectin
 3 C apple juice
 2 TB lemon juice
 3 C brown sugar

Line a small sieve with double thickness of cheesecloth. Cut a 5 inch square  of cheesecloth, put lavender flowers in the center and tie up ends to form a small bag. In a 6 quart saucepan, combine pectin and apple juice, stirring until pectin is dissolved.
Set the pan over high and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Stir in the lemon juice and sugar and drop in lavender bag. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly Remove bag. Strain through cheesecloth-lined sieve into sterilized jars.
Makes 3-8oz jars

 Lavender Muffins 

1 cup sugar
1 stick butter or margarine (1/4 cup)
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cup flour (sifted)
1/3 cup lavender blossoms (fresh are best but dried work well too)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter with sugar, add eggs, milk, salt, baking powder  and flour. Beat well.  Fold in lavender blossoms.  Grease muffin tin or use cupcake papers.  Fill cups 1/2 full.  Bake 1 2-1 8 minutes depending on size. They are done when
 toothpick stuck in middle comes out clean.  While still hot, glaze with 1/2 cup powdered sugar mixed with juice of 1 lemon. Decorate with lavender blossoms. Let sit several  hours before serving.  Makes 12 small muffins, 8 regular.

    Lavender Honey Scones           

3 cups quick oats
2 cups flaked coconut
1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon dried lavender

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine oats, coconut, and flour in a large mixing bowl. In a heavy sauce pan bring butter, honey, sugar and lavender to a boil. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well. Drop dough by the spoonful into muffin tins, making each one about 1-2 inches high. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden, being careful NOT to over-bake. Cool in the tins for 15 minutes before removing. These store well and are excellent for care packages.

Lavender & Honey Salad Dressing

6 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Lemon juice
1 Crushed Garlic Clove
1 teaspoon Coarse Grain Mustard
2 tablespoons Honey
1 teaspoon Dried lavender Flowers

Whisk all ingredients together
Stand for 30mins to allow flavors to infuse
Whisk again and serve.
This dressing will store in a screw lid jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Lavender Tea

3 Tablespoons Fresh Lavender Flowers
1 1/2 Tablespoons Dried Lavender Flowers
2 cups boiling water

Allow the flowers to steep for 4 -5 minutes.  Strain.  Add honey and/or a slice of lemon if desired.  A little mint or rosemary can be added for an interesting flavour variation.
NOTE:  One of my favorite ways to enjoy a cup of Tea is to add Lavender flowers to a pot of black tea for a lovely lavender flavour.

Lavender-Mint Party Punch

2 Tablespoons dried mint leaves
6 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon dried lavender blossoms
1 liter ginger ale
1 cup purple grape juice
ice cubes with a fresh mint leaf frozen in each cube

Brew the mint in the water in a teapot for ten minutes. Add the lavender blossoms to the pot. Allow tea to cool. Strain the tea and add the ginger ale, grape juice and ice cubes. If serving in a punch bowl, float lavender buds and mint sprigs on top.

             Lavender Honey Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
2/3 cup mild honey
2 tablespoons dried edible lavender flowers
2 large eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt


Special equipment: a candy thermometer; an ice cream maker

Instructions:  Bring cream, half-and-half, honey, and lavender just to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, then remove pan from heat. Let steep, covered, 30 minutes.   Pour cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard lavender. Return mixture to cleaned saucepan and heat over moderate heat until hot.

Whisk together eggs and salt in a large bowl, then add 1 cup hot cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking. Pour into remaining hot cream mixture in saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thick enough to coat back of spoon and registers 170 to 175°F on thermometer, about 5 minutes (do not let boil).

Pour custard through sieve into cleaned bowl and cool completely, stirring occasionally. Chill, covered, until cold, at least 3 hours.

Freeze custard in ice cream maker. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden.

Cooks' notes:
* To cool custard quickly after straining, set bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water and stir until chilled. 
* Custard can chill up to 1 day before freezing. 
* Ice cream keeps 1 week.
* Makes about 1 qt.                  
* Credits  Gourmet-September 2003