Lavender is of course an ingredient in a good number of dishes in the Jersey Lavender cafe (known locally as Sprigs Cafe) and also various edible products sold in our farm shop and online.
It often surprises people that lavender can be used as a flavouring, but believe me it is delicious and there is every evidence that the use of lavender in food goes back a good few centuries, whether it was as a remedial tissane, or to flavour a meat dish. So, in this blog, I thought I’d mention some of the edible things that we use lavender in and hope that it inspires you to look to use it at home yourself.
The first place to start is, of course, the raw ingredient – culinary lavender – this is the dried lavender flower buds from one of our Lavandula angustiflolia varieties, and what you need as the raw lavender ingredient to start creating your lavender dishes at home. Our culinary lavender is carefully cut by hand, cutting only the flower spike and 10cm/3″ of stem. These are then dried and then the buds are carefully hand-rubbed from the stems. The buds are then sieved to remove any dust, and to go through them carefully to quality-check that there are no bits that we don’t want in there.
In our Sprigs Cafe, we are always trying to use the lavender in different ways but the old favorites are our Lavender Shortbread, lavender scones, lavender & strawberry lemonade, lavender & cherry pie, Lavender & Strawberry Gateau, Lavender & Honey Ice-Cream and Lavender pavlova. For some of these (with the links), there are recipes on our website that you might like to follow.
For the first two, the scones and shortbread, whilst you can bake from scratch at home, we have also created dry-mix versions that make their preparation so much more convenient. For the lavender scones you only need add water to the lavender scone mix, prepare your dough, roll out, cut out the round scones and bake. To make 20
delicious lavender shortbread biscuits you need our lavender shortbread mix, plus some butter. Mix, roll out the dough, shape the biscuits and bake. Both dry mixes really couldn’t be easier to use and the results are absolutely delicious. The scones, of course, should be served with a generous amount of cream & jam. The shortbread is delicious on its own but try serving with some ice-cream or with stewed fruits.
In our Jersey Lavender farm shop there are many other delicious items that contain our culinary lavender. We have the Lavender Jelly. Based on apple juice, the jelly is an original and tasty accompaniment to meats (particularly lamb and sausages) and strong cheese. There is also a Lavender & Honey Mustard and a Lavender, Lemon & Lime Marmalade – delicious on your toast in the mornings or try using it as a cooking ingredient,in a cake, on a cake as a drizzle, or glaze for a roast ham.
The most favourite item in our shop has to be the Lavender Fudge. This locally made product is heaven – a delicious fudge with a hint of our lavender, through the use of a tiny amount of our Jersey lavender oil. We sell it in 100g bags and 300g gift boxes and it flies from the shelves!
If your tastebuds are now ready to try cooking with lavender, where do you go for recipes? We have a few on our website to try and if you find a delicious lavender recipe, let us know and we’ll post it up. You could also try “The Lavender Cookbook” by Sharon Shipley which contains more than 120 lavender recipes. There’s bound to be something there that you’ll love. And finally, there’s the net – Google lavender recipe and you’ll be amazed at what you’ll find!