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Lavender Adds an Aromatic Touch to Apple Rhubarb Crisp

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Lavender lends flowery, herbal hints to this apple, rhubarb crisp.

“This sweet-tart dessert is especially good served with vanilla ice cream or a big dollop of sweetened whipped cream to which you’ve added a little ground lavender,” says Sharon Shipley in “The Lavender Cookbook” (Running Press, $18.95).  If you love a hint of lavender in desserts, you might also try serving this crisp with Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream.

Lavender Apple Rhubarb Crisp

1/2 cup pecan halves or large pieces
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch slices

4 large Granny Smith apples
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 or 5 large ribs rhubarb
2 tablespoons dried culinary lavender buds
3/4 cup sugar, divided use
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

For the topping: Place the pecans in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a cup and set aside. Place the flour, sugar and salt in the food processor. Scatter the butter on top. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

For the fruit: Peel and core the apples; cut into 1/2-inch slices (you should have about 6 cups). Place in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice and vanilla. Cut the rhubarb into 1/4-inch slices (you should have about 4 cups). Add to the bowl.

Place the lavender in a spice grinder with 1/4 cup of the sugar, Pulse until the lavender is finely ground. Transfer to a small bowl. Stir in the flour, cinnamon and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Sprinkle over the fruit and toss to combine.

Transfer the fruit mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the pecans. Sprinkle with the crumb mixture. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown. Serve warm.

Note: Placing the chopped nuts under the crumb mixture helps to keep the nuts from burning.

Makes 6-8 servings.

From “The Lavender Cookbook” by Sharon Shipley


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