This time of year brings me back to my grandmother’s orchard with its wonderful fruit selection – plums, pears, peaches, and apples. My all time favourite were the wonderfully ripe peaches. They were so fragrant and succulent that the juices ran all over with just one bite. I can still smell the aromas just thinking about my childhood.
In days gone by we had many peach orchards in beautiful Essex County. We even celebrated peaches in our little town of Harrow with a festival and the crowning of the Peach Queen. The Harrow Research Station developed a number of peach varieties such as the Harrow Beauty and Harrow Diamond Peach. Today, you can still find fresh peaches at our neighbour’s Leslie and Doug of the Fruit Wagon and Maria’s on Ridge Road.
So today in celebration of the long weekend and fresh Essex County peaches I thought I’d share a lovely adult beverage recipe that incorporates my favourite herb- lavender and of course those luscious peaches.
Lavender Peach Bellini
2 ripe large peaches, peeled, halved and stone removed
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of water
1 teaspoon Serenity Lavender’s culinary lavender
750 ml bottle of North 42 Degrees Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, chilled
Fresh lavender sprigs to garnish
Add water into a small pot. Bring to a boil add sugar stir until completely dissolved. Take off the heat and add 1 teaspoon of Serenity Lavender’s culinary lavender. Put the lid on the pot and steep for about 20 minutes. Strain the lavender and put the lavender simple syrup mixture into the fridge until cooled completely.
Blend the peaches in a blender until smooth. Place 1 tablespoon of peach puree into a glass add 1 tablespoon of lavender simple syrup and top with chilled sparkling wine.
Decorate each glass with a lavender sprig and serve straight away!
Use 1 parts puree to 4 parts sparkling wine. Good quality peach juice can be used as a substitute.
A match made in heaven- zesty lemon and luscious lavender! We can’t get enough of these creamy fragrant white chocolate bites and with Valentine’s day a few weeks away what better occasion to make these rich white chocolate treats for the one you love.
Finely chopped pistachios for garnish, cake sparkles or powdered sugar
In the top portion of a double boiler, combine the whipping cream, butter, lavender, lemon zest and lemon juice. Over low heat bring the mixture to a simmer while stirring continually.
Remove the mixture from the stove and extract the lavender and lemon zest by passing the liquid through a fine sieve.
Add water to the bottom pot of the double boiler and heat. Add the chocolate into the warm mixture of whip cream . Stir until it is smooth and melted. Do not melt the chocolate over direct heat.
Once you have a smooth mixture with the chocolate, pour the ganache (cream & chocolate mixture) into a bowl and leave a room temperature for up to 5 hours. At this point, the ganache should be hard enough to hold whatever form you wish. Use a teaspoon or a small melon baller to place small heaps of the truffle mix onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in freezer for 15 minutes
Remove the ganache from the freezer, and quickly roll each heap between your hands to create small smooth balls, and place back onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Roll each ball in chopped pistachio nuts, cake sparkles or powdered sugar and finish with a bud of lavender atop each truffle. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Adapted from Adventures in Cooking;
photo from Photo from betsylife.com.
Here’s a nice easy recipe for Lavender Lemon tea cookies that we’ve adapted from Dietitians of Canada, COOK! A tea time favourite- oooh so pretty too! They are a perfect pairing with a cup of Serenity Lavender’s Lavender Earl Grey tea on a cold winter’s day or just a nice treat to chase away the winter blues.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Serenity Lavender’s lavender sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/3 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
1 large egg beaten
1/2 cup 2% milk
2 tsp lemon extract
1 cup icing sugar
2 1/2 – 3 tbsp 2% milk
2 tsp non-hydrogenated margarine
1 tsp lemon extract
Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C)
In a large bowl, combine flour, lavender sugar and baking powder. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In a small bowl, whisk together egg, milk and lemon extract. Pour over flour mixture and stir just until a stiff dough forms (do not over mix).
Drop 1 tablespoonful (15 mL) about 2 inches (5 cm) apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until bottoms are golden. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
In small bowl, combine icing sugar, milk, margarine and lemon extract to form a smooth, thin frosting.
Drizzle frosting over cooled cookies and top with Serenity Lavender’s Culinary lavender buds.
Makes about 30 cookies
Excerpted from Dietitians of Canada, COOK! by Mary Sue Waisman, photos by Colin Erricson © 2011 Robert Rose Inc.
We’ve started our holiday baking with a few of our favourites from mouth watering shortbread to chocolate fudge. At Serenity Lavender we’re always experimenting and adding lavender to different recipes to see how our favourite herb accents a recipe. Like anything in life, we’ve had some huge successes and then some less than stellar results. Over the next several weeks on Sundays we’ll be sharing some of our recipes that have been great hits and sure fire crowd pleasers. Today we thought we’d start with a classic – Lavender Shortbread! Buttery crisps with a hint of floral and citrus notes that turns this old family recipe into something spectacular!!
Servings: 5 dozen cookies
1 lb unsalted butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
2 teaspoons Serenity Lavender culinary lavender (ground)
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup rice flour
½ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Cover bottoms of two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, lavender with an electric mixer. Mix until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add all purpose flour, rice flour and salt and beat until incorporated. Divide dough in half. Flatten into squares and wrap in plastic. Chill until firm. On a floured board, roll each square to a thickness of 3/8 inch. Cut with cookie cutters and place onto baking sheets, spacing cookies about 1 inch apart. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until pale golden around the edges. Cool then transfer to a rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Store in an air tight container.
Photo from ilovemilkandcookies.blogspot.ca
1 3/4 cups of your favourite berry — frozen is fine, try it with a blend of berries!
1/2 cup plain flour
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp demerara sugar
4 tbsp chopped hazelnuts or almonds
1 teaspoon Serenity Lavender Farm culinary lavender buds
6 tbsp caster sugar
2 thin strips of lemon rind
6 tbsp water
Make the Syrup
Combine ingredients for syrup in a pan and stir over medium-high heat until it boils. Let boil for 5 minutes, remove from heat and cool.
Make the Crumble
In a mixing bowl, add the butter in small pieces to the flour, mixing with your fingers. Add the sugar, continue mixing until you have a crumble. Gently mix in nuts (Oats can be substituted for nuts).
Put it all together
Preheat oven to 350° F
Add your berry mix to an ovenproof dish (or divide evenly between ovenproof ramekins). Remove the lemon rind from the syrup and pour over fruit. Top with the crumble mixture and bake for 30 minutes or until crumble is brown and toasty.
Serve with cream, whipped cream, or ice cream. Sprinkle with lavender buds for a beautiful finish!
Photo Credit – Marco Verch
Perfect dessert to share with your loved one this Valentine’s Day.
- 10 oz Oreo cookies
- 2 oz melted butter
- pinch of salt
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 2 tbsp cream
- 3 tbsp lavender simple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 4 oz fresh raspberries
- 2 tbsp sugar (simmer for 15-20 minutes until thickened)
- 3-4 oz fresh raspberries
- Sliced Almonds
- Extra Lavender Syrup
- Confectioner’s sugar
- In a food processor, place the Oreos and salt, and process until you get cookie crumbs.
- Then while running the food processor on its lowest setting, drizzle the butter in. This should make the cookie crumbs moist enough to be pressed into a cheesecake base.
- Take 4 omelet rings or tart rings and butter the insides. Place these on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet or tray. (Alternatively, you can use 4 mini fluted tart pans as well).
- Place some of the cookie crumbs inside and using a flat bottomed glass or tart tamper or the back of a spoon, press down the crust to form a flat base.
- If you prefer, use your fingers to press the cookie crumbs onto the sides of your tart rings as well to form the sides of the cheesecake (this is optional, just the base would be sufficient, and easier)
- Let the tart bases freeze for a few hours, or until you need them.
- When you’re ready to use the tart bases, carefully remove the tart ring by using a sharp knife to loosen the edges. Be careful not to break the base. If you have molded the sides as well, you may need a blow torch to warm up the sides slightly, to make unmolding easier.
Raspberry swirl (can be made ahead of time)
- Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium heat.
- Lower the heat and let it simmer until you have a thick raspberry coulis/paste – about 10 minutes.
- Set aside to cool and store in the fridge until ready to use.
- In a bowl, place all the ingredients. Whisk until you have a smooth paste.
- Add as much of the raspberry paste/coulis as you need to create a ripple effect. You can alter the amount according to your preference. I added about half. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge until ready.
- Optional – store the cheesecake in the fridge in a piping bag fitted with a wide round nozzle.
- Remove unmolded tart bases from the freezer (about 10 minutes before serving).
- Spoon the cheesecake or pipe in the cheesecake evenly onto the four bases.
- Stud the top with 3-4 fresh raspberries.
- Drizzle a little extra lavender syrup on top.
- Sprinkle some sliced almonds and confectioner’s sugar.
- Serve immediately.
( Via adishofdailylife.com )
- 1 egg white
- 2 ounces earl grey tea infused gin**
- ¾ ounce lavender simple syrup
- ¾ ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Lavender sprig for garnish
- Add all ingredients except garnish to a cocktail shaker and shake without ice.
- Open shaker, fill with ice and shake again.
- Double strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a lavender flower.
- **To make the earl grey tea infused gin:
- Combine 1 earl grey tea bag with 2 cups gin and let sit for 2 hours. Strain into a glass bottle and use as desired.
It’s time to start the holiday baking around here and one of our family favourites is Lavender Shortbread. These buttery, tender morsels accented with a hint of floral and citrus flavours of Serenity’s culinary lavender are so irresistible, that’s its hard to keep them around until the holidays.
1 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup of sugar
1 cup rice flour
3 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 teaspoons ground Serenity Culinary lavender
Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream together butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Sift together the dry ingredients. Mix together the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
Spoon dough using a small ice cream scoop onto a parchment lined pan leaving about 2 inches between cookies and press using a fork. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the bottoms are lightly brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
Makes about 40 cookies.
We have new products available that are sure to make this Father’s Day an unforgettable day! Definitely a pleaser whether dad is a grill fanatic, or you’d like to grill up a fabulous meal for him.
1 cup vegetable oil
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lavender
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
4 pork steaks
Preheat an outdoor grill for low heat.
Pour oil into a large, resealable plastic bag. Add lavender, rosemary, and thyme; let stand for 10 minutes. Place steaks in bag with marinade, and marinate for 5 minutes.
Lightly oil grate. Remove steaks from marinade, and arrange on grill. Cook, turning once or twice, for 20 to 30 minutes, or until done.