Here’s a super summery dessert which can be whipped up in minutes yet never fails to impress. Continue reading “Lemon and Lavender Possets”
Following on from my previous post in which I pondered how to use primroses in the kitchen, here’s the result: Lemon, Lavender and Primrose Tart. Yes, you heard right. Lavender, even in March. How? Well, some of you may recall, back in August of last year, I made Lavender Sugar by adding lavender to a jar of sugar so that in the winter months I could add a floral fragrance to cakes and bakes. I then forgot all about it – until now! The lavender sugar was added to a simple lemon tart which I then topped with some crystallised primroses from the garden to create a fabulously floral confection. It’s a veritable posy of a pudding – perfect for Easter!
LEMON, LAVENDER AND PRIMROSE TART
For the pastry
250g plain flour
70g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, cubed
2 egg yolks
For the filling
120g lavender sugar
150ml double cream
Juice of 2-3 lemons (approx. 100ml)
2 tbsp lemon zest
For the decoration
A few primrose flowers
1 egg white (use the white left over from the yolks used in the pastry)
Handful of caster sugar
Make the pastry by mixing together the flour and the icing sugar in a bowl. Add the cubed butter and rub together until the mixture is crumbly. Add the egg yolks and mix together, adding a drop of water if the mixture is too dry. Roll into a ball, cover in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for 30 mins.
While the pastry is chilling, make the crystallised flowers. Whisk the egg white in a bowl until frothy and carefully paint the egg white onto both sides of the flowers with a paintbrush. Lay the flowers on a piece of baking parchment and sprinkle with sugar (both sides) until evenly covered. Allow to dry.
Roll out the pastry onto a lightly floured surface to about the thickness of a £1 coin. Lift into a 23cm flan tin. Press down gently and trim off any excess pastry. Prick the base with a fork and pop back in the fridge for another 30 mins.
Meanwhile, make the tart filling by beating together the eggs, lavender sugar, cream and lemon juice. Sieve the mixture and then stir in the lemon zest.
Heat the oven to 160C/140C fan. Line the tart with foil/baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake for 10 mins. Discard the beans and bake for a further 20 minutes, uncovered.
Once the pastry is browned, remove from oven and carefully pour in the lemon mixture. Cook for a further 30-35 minutes.
Leave to cool before decorating with the crystallised flowers.
(Click here for a print-friendly version.)
Lavender sugar is a very handy thing to have on standby. It takes seconds to make and can be added to all sorts of bakes and desserts to add a delicate floral note.
Yesterday, I grabbed an empty jam jar, filled it with caster sugar and added a couple of teaspoons of lavender flowers which I’d just picked from the garden. After giving it a good shake, I put it away in a dark cupboard. Job done. I’ll now leave it for a few weeks for the flavour to intensify and come autumn, when the hum of insects buzzing among the lavender flowers is just a distant memory, I’ll still be able to whip up a batch of lavender shortbread.
Just be sure the flowers are completely dry so that the sugar doesn’t clump together. Other than that, the only challenge of this recipe is managing to pick the lavender heads without provoking a bee invasion. Good luck with that! 😉