Tag Archive | "“The Lavender Cookbook”"

Lavender Adds an Aromatic Touch to Apple Rhubarb Crisp

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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Try Lavender in Your Brownies

“I love these brownies!” Sharon Shipley writes in “The Lavender Cookbook” (Running Press, $18.95). “They’re moist, chewy, and so quick and easy to prepare. Why bother making brownies from a box, when these take only a few extra minutes and taste so much better? Serve them with vanilla ice cream topped with hot fudge sauce — or just plain with a glass of cold milk. What could be better?”

If you are cooking with lavender, make sure you get the variety that is meant for the kitchen. Ask your lavender farmer or the person handling the bulk bins at stores like Central Market, Whole Foods or Green Fields for guidance. Shipley prefers the dried “Provence” culinary buds because they have “a low camphor level, a nice floral note, and a gentle lavender flavor. Other varieties of lavender can taste perfumey, buttery and medicinal.” The culinary variety will also have more gray in the color.

Chocolate Lavender Brownies

1 teaspoon dried culinary lavender buds
3 cups sugar, divided use
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder or powdered instant coffee
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Place the lavender in a spice grinder with 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Pulse until the lavender is finely ground. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the flour, cocoa, salt, espresso or coffee powder, and the remaining sugar. Mix well.

Place the butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high power for 1 minute at a time until melted. Let cool for a few minutes. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the butter mixture. Using a wood spoon, mix until just combined. Stir in the nuts, if using. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth top. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.

Makes 24 brownies.

From “The Lavender Cookbook” by Sharon Shipley

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