Lavender in the larder

Did you know that lavender flowers are edible?

Lavender is a flavouring for both sweet and savoury dishes. You only need small quantities as the flavour is powerful but a little lavender sugar sprinkled onto a scone before baking or lavender jelly as either a sweet jam or with a cold platter of cheeses or charcuterie is a surprisingly good combination. Lavender sugar is easy to make, it just takes a little time. All you do is to put a few dried flower heads into a jar of ordinary granulated sugar and leave for a few weeks for the sugar to take on board the flavour. You can then use it in sponge cakes, shortbread and as a sugar topping.

Lavender jelly is just as easy to make, using an ordinary jelly recipe such as crab apple jelly or rosehip jelly, simply add a few flower heads to the boiling mix about 10 minutes before the jelly is at setting stage. You can also add a sprig to the jar as a decorative touch. The flowers can also be crystallised for use in confectionary and decoration for cakes.

Baked savoury dishes can also be bought to life with a sprinkling of lavender flowers – just a few individual flowers, not the whole head – and is especially good on grilled or melted cheese such as goats cheese or ‘chèvre’.

Give it a try! English lavender is best – Lavandula angustifolia but you can use other varieties. We have Lavandula angustifolia available at the nursery if you don’t have any in your garden!

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