One of the desserts when I stayed at St Andrews Old Course Hotel was a creme brulee served with lavender shortbread. The lavender flavour was so subtle that I almost couldn't detect it - but it did remind me that a friend had shared her mum's lavender shortbread recipe with me, and inspired me to get on and try it out. I served the shortbread rounds with clotted cream, and strawberries in lavender syrup, for a beautiful summer dessert.
A pleasant side-effect of this recipe was that the scent of lavender absolutely filled the kitchen while the shortbread was baking - a kind of natural air-freshener. The lavender flavour came through very strongly in the taste, as well, so you might want to play around with the quantities if you prefer something more subtle.
Lavender Shortbread with Strawberries and Cream
For the shortbread
85g / 3oz plain flour
85g / 3oz cornflour
55g / 2oz caster sugar
110g / 4oz butter
2tsp dried lavender
For the lavender strawberries
200g / 7oz fresh strawberries (washed and halved)
3tbsp white sugar
2tbsp hot water
1 tsp dried lavender
170g / 6oz clotted cream
- Preheat the oven to 140°C (for fan ovens).
- Mix the cornflour and plain flour together, breaking up any lumps (sieve if necessary).
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a separate bowl.
- Beat the butter and sugar mixture until fluffy, then fold in the flour and lavender.
- Knead together to form a uniform dough with no loose flour (it will still be slightly crumbly)
- Divide the dough into 12 even-sized pieces, roll each piece into a ball and press into a flattened circle.
- Arrange on a baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes until the tops are just starting to brown.
- Meanwhile, make the lavender syrup by dissolving the sugar in the hot water and adding lavender. Set aside. (You could also make the lavender syrup the night before, and leave to infuse for a stronger flavour.)
- Once the shortbread rounds are finished, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
- Strain the lavender syrup to remove most of the flowers, and toss the strawberries in the syrup.
- Serve the biscuits with a scoop of clotted cream and a few strawberries.
Linking up at Delicious Dish Tuesday.