Tag Archives: lavender

Lavender Lemonade

Last weekend was sunny, beautiful and deserving of something with flowers and fruit. I have decided that this summer will be my summer of mixing different flavors with lemons and limes to make all sorts of new “-ades.” A new Martha Stewart juicer may have something to do with that.

So I went to a favorite flavor that I rarely cook with – lavender. I researched a dozen different recipes until I found one adapted from Cooking Light, which creates a lavender tea with actual lavender leaves, rather than the little purple flowers. Although the tea smells like soap while you’re making it, the fresh lemon juice and sugar syrup will balance that for a refreshing drink (that also happens to go well with vodka, btw!).

Lavender Lemonade

Ingredients (Makes 4-5 servings):

  • 4  cups  water, divided
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh lavender leaves (you can find these at Whole Foods, or your garden!)
  • 2/3  cup  sugar
  • 1  cup  fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
  • Lavender stems and buds, for garnish (optional)

Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Combine the boiling water and lavender in a medium bowl; cover and steep 30 minutes. Strain the lavender mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard lavender leaves.

Combine 3 cups water and sugar in saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and cook 1 minute or until sugar is dissolved. Combine lavender water, sugar syrup, and lemon juice in a pitcher. Cover and chill. Serve over ice. Garnish lemonade with lavender stems, if desired.

I still think I’ll play with this recipe a bit because I want a stronger lavender essence without the soapy effect – it’s a very fine line, which you would know if you’ve ever cooked with lavender. Next time, I’ll try it with the flowers instead. Other flavors to come: lemon thyme, rosemary and sage. Maybe a basil limeade? Can’t wait to get my herb garden going!

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Sour cream pound cake with lavender peaches

Peach season here stretches from late April to … September, apparently. You can’t go to a farm stand without finding these fuzzy beauties, ready for poaching, baking, pureeing and eating raw. I recently used a batch of white peaches to serve with this splendid sour-cream pound cake specked with vanilla seeds.

While the cake bakes, you make a simple vanilla/lavender syrup, saving some for the whipped cream and then bubbling the syrup further with sliced peaches. Served over the soft, creamy pound cake, the peaches create a lovely perfume with the lavender – something you could bottle and sell if you didn’t eat it so fast.

This was my first time making pound cake and while it’s not as good as my mother’s, it’s still quite tasty.

From Bon Appetit:

Sour cream pound cake

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c. plus 1 T flour
  • 1/4 c. cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 10 T unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. sour cream

Preheat oven to 325. Butter a metal loaf pan (8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 3/4 inch). Dust  pan with flour; tap out excess.

Sift 3/4 c. plus 1 T flour, cornstarch, baking  powder, and salt into medium bowl. Set aside.

Combine sugar and butter in large bowl; scrape in seeds from vanilla bean (reserve bean for lavender syrup). Using electric mixer, beat sugar mixture until fluffy. Add egg, egg white, and vanilla extract; beat until mixture is pale and thick, about 2 minutes. Beat in sour  cream. Add flour mixture; beat just until blended. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 56-58 minutes. Cool in pan on rack 15 minutes. Turn cake out, then turn top side up (this can be tricky!). Cool  completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in foil and store at room temperature.)

Lavender syrup and peaches

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 3 T dried lavender blossoms
  • 4 medium firm but ripe peaches, pitted, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch wedges
  • 3 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 c. chilled heavy whipping cream

Combine 2 1/4 c. water, sugar, lavender, and reserved vanilla bean in saucepan.  Boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; cover and let steep 10 minutes. Strain syrup into medium bowl; discard lavender. Pour 2 T lavender syrup into small bowl; reserve for whipped cream. Cover and chill.

Return remaining syrup to same saucepan; add peaches and lemon juice and bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer about 5 minutes. Transfer peaches to bowl.

Boil syrup in pan until reduced to 1 c., 12-14 minutes. Pour over  peaches. Chill uncovered 2 hours.

Beat cream and 2 T reserved syrup in medium bowl to soft peaks. Slice cake. Serve with peaches, syrup, and cream.

You will absolutely love this unique and inspiring peach recipe. Enjoy, friends! xoxo