Everyday Elsie by Lora Craig-Gaddis
Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram;
The marigold, that goes to bed wi’ the sun,
and with him rise weeping.
— The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare
Here are a couple of lavender recipes you might like to try this weekend. I have to admit I have not made the tart yet, so please let me know if it turns out well (or not).
Make sure you are using culinary lavender – that is, it has not been treated with chemicals like pesticides or herbicides, but is food grade quality.
Bruise dried lavender flowers and add them to superfine or confectioners sugar. (They must be dried, or else they may get moldy). Store in an airtight jar until used. Use a sieve to remove flowers before use.
If you don’t have time to make lavender cookies from scratch, you can sprinkle those store-bought cookie dough rolls with lavender sugar to give them some magic and personality! You can also add this scented sugar to cakes, meringues and other sweets for a delicate flavor. Hint: A touch of lavender with chocolate is amazing !
If you have the time and skill, make your own pie or tart crust. Just a standard one, nothing fancy (unless you want to). For the rest of us mere mortals, though, we rely on prepared crusts from the grocery store. Buy the best ones you can afford (and watch out…a lot of them contain lard, which is something you may or may not want to be serving).
Pie crusts can become tarts simply by shaping them while they’re soft, to fill the bottom of a tart pan. This is not necessary, but it looks prettier and may affect the baking time, so be sure to check while it cooks.
10 ounces soft mild goat cheese
1 cup cottage cheese
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon chopped mixed fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, and lavender
2 to 3 tablespoons mixed whole fresh herb leaves
Prepare the crust according to directions.
In a food processor blend cheeses, yolks, flour, and butter until smooth. Stir in chopped herbs and pour filling into tart shell. Bake tart 20 minutes, or until filling is just set. Sprinkle tart with herb leaves and continue baking until filling and crust are pale golden. Give it the toothpick test – insert a toothpick into the center and if it pulls out cleanly, that is, without eggy goop on it, it’s done.
Cool tart in pan on a rack and remove rim. Serve warm or at room temperature.
You might want to remember to leave a little slice offering for the Good Folk.