August 05, 2007

Lavender: Pretty and Tasty

Every year there’s a huge patch of lavender in my garden and I never do anything with it. Mom takes bunches of it and puts in vases around the house, but that’s about it. I’ve been hesitant to use it in cooking or baking before because I’m never quite sure if I like lavender. Sometimes I find the smell to be overwhelming and I feel like I’m being suffocated by its perfume. But it looks pretty and I decided I should at least give it a try before dismissing it entirely. I’m glad I did. Searching online for recipes revealed that a few bloggers have been playing with lavender but the site that had the most recipes was the Happy Valley Lavender and Herb Farm. With a name like that, I had to make one of their recipes. And so my first attempt at using lavender in the kitchen produced Lavender Lemonade. To my surprise I liked it, a lot. As good as it was on its own though, I couldn’t help but tinker with the recipe. I thought my addition of mint, 7up and rum was worthy of winning an award, but I’ll let you give it a try and get back to me.



For my second lavender recipe I turned to my favourite Baking book which didn’t actually have a lavender recipe but that didn’t stop me from using it to create one. I’ve learned that I can play around with any of Dorie’s recipes with excellent results and this was no exception. I simply made her Perfection Pound Cake and added in ¼ cup of fresh lavender flowers to the sugar right at the start. The result was a lavender pound cake that I think could have been made better only by serving it with some crème fresh or vanilla ice cream. For my next lavender adventure I’m thinking of making sables or possibly ice cream, you know how I love my ice cream. Whichever I decide, I’ve got no shortage of lavender with which to do it.



Lavender Lemonade (from Happy Valley Lavender and Herb Farm)


1 cup sugar

1/4 cup (a generous handful) fresh or 1 tablespoon dried lavender blooms stripped from stems

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained

5 cups water

Ice cubes

Lavender sprigs for garnish


Combine sugar with 2 1/2 cups water in a medium pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Add the lavender blooms to the sugar water, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand at least 20 minutes (and up to several hours).

Strain mixture and discard lavender. Pour infusion into a glass pitcher. Add lemon juice and another 2 1/2 cups water. Stir well and watch lemonade change color.

Pour into tall glasses half-filled with ice or refrigerate until ready to use.

Makes: 6 cups

**I also discovered that muddling some mint into this drink and adding 7up instead of the second 5 ½ cups water makes a lovely drink as well… rum optional.



Technorati Tags:

+ +

26 comments:

Ivonne said...

Were you reading my mind? I was just thining how nice it would be to make some iced tea or lemonade but I needed to find a good recipe. I love it, Brilynn!

Minko said...

The lemonade looks so pretty

kickpleat said...

wow, what great colour in your lemonade! i made lavendar lemonade last month and it was really delicious but definitely not purple: http://everybodylikessandwiches.blogspot.com/2007/07/wait-theres-flower-in-my-drink.html

K & S said...

All of these ways to use lavender sound wonderful!

The TriniGourmet said...

i have no access to lavender the plant but i have lavender essential oil... i'll have to see how i can adapt these :D won't have the pretty purple colour though... definitely bookmarking :D

DOMESTIC DIVA said...

mmmm lemonade!

Amy said...

It sounds wonderful to have all that fresh lavender! I purchased my first bit of dried lavender a few months ago and immediately made some lavender sugar. Your lavender lemonade sounds fabulous, I love the color!

Meeta said...

I'm like you too. I cannot really get comfortable with the lavender flavor in my food. However the lemondae sounds refreshing. I love the color!

Lydia said...

Lavender pound cake was my first experiment in cooking with lavender, too. I thought the flavor would overwhelm, but it didn't -- it really mellowed in the cooking. The lemonade sounds delicious and refreshing, too.

Kristen said...

Wonderful!
Hey - glad you will be joining us over on Just Baking. You'll be a fantastic addition!

Valli said...

Lavender is one of my favourite summer flowers. I have seen all kinds of recipes utilizing it on the net, but have not tried it yet. They have a Lavender Festival here locally in July and make lavender scones and lavender honey. Plus you can make sachets in the old-fashioned way using the stalks to braid with. I enjoyed your recipes and will have to get adventurous!!!

Deborah said...

I'm the same - not sure if I like lavender or not - it is usually too strong for me. I have never tried baking with it, so I need to give it a go and see how I like it!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I have never tried lavender, Bri, and these look so good!

eatme_delicious said...

Yumm I've always wanted to try lavender pound cake.

lynn said...

I've got lavendar growing out front and have been toying with how to use it. I love the lemonade idea! When is it best to pick to use in foodstuffs? With blossoms still on?

Cheryl said...

The lavendar lemonade is the prettiest drink I think I have ever seen. This would be a hit at any BBQ.

breadchick said...

Bri, I would never have thought to add lavender to Dorie's spectacular pound cake but I am so saving this idea for my next tea party. It will be perfect!

Jennifer said...

That sounds and looks refreshingly lovely!

kellypea said...

The drinks sound lovely! And I haven't used lavendar outside of herbs d'provence either. I've used scented geranium to make cakes for tea which were great...It's fun to watch the people eating it notice the leaves. Priceless.

Cynthia said...

I'm thirsty right now so the lavender lemonade would do me just fine.

anita said...

I love the smell of lavender! The lemonade and pound cake sound so good!

Tartelette said...

That lemonade sounds so refreshing! I made Dorie madeleines and they were delicious.

Gemma said...

The lemonade and pund cake both sound and look great. I had some great lavender shortbread once but have never tried to replicate it. I guess it was just lavender sugar instead of ordinary.

Anita said...

wowsa, what a gorgeous color that glass is!

cookworm said...

You've reminded me how much I love lavender lemonade! I am going to make some soon. Thanks again for the great Blogging By Mail package! :)

s'kat said...

Three words: lavender goat cheese!