Cooking with flowers is not something I've done a lot of. I had the misguided notion that flowers in food would be perfume-y in flavor. Not something I'd want in a dish. True, I've eaten batter fried squash blossoms and have had pansies in salad, but not too much more than that. Well! This Lavender Sorbet is not only very flavorful it is very, very refreshing.
Have I piqued your interest? Come join me and let's cook with flowers.
Remember yesterday I left you as I headed out to harvest some lavender. I've hung most of this basket in the basement for drying but decided to pull out some of the fresh lavender to use in the sorbet.
The ingredients are very simple and minimal. I decided to add pansies too for their color though you do not have to.
Let's get started:
Add sugar to water on the stovetop.
Simmer the sugar/water mixture for about 5 minutes.
Place the lavender in the food processer with a little sugar.
Isn't it pretty?
But after processing the sugar and lavender for about 3 minutes this is what it looks like. Not as pretty but that's ok. We'll now add the lavender/sugar mixture of the processor bowl to the sugar water mixture on the stove.
Stir and combine very well and let this rest for an hour to cool.
Once it has cooled be sure to strain it through a fine stainer. You'll be left with the lavender infused sugar water and the plants bits will be removed.
Now it is time to add the pansies. First place the pansies in a little boiling water in a bowl and let them steep for 15 minutes. Then pour through cheesecloth.
See the color you've gotten from the pansies?
Drip...drip...drip....it is natural purple dye.
Now we're getting serious. I added about 2 tablespoons of tequilla. You can add plain vodka or any type of alcohol you'd like. The reason for a small amount of alcohol is that alcohol does not freeze so its addition to your sorbet will keep it from freezing to ice once you are ready to chill the dessert. It WILL be frosty but will not freeze hard like an ice cube.
Final ingredient added: the lime juice. Now stir your mixture well and place in a freezer safe dish and chill. When it is almost frozen I put the icy mixture in the food processor and re-processed and then put it in my serving dishes and froze one last time. This makes a really nice smooth sorbet.
Look how pretty! I garnished with some more pansies but you could just as easily garnish with sprigs of lavender (which probably makes more sense since this IS Lavender sorbet!)
I sort of combined three different recipes I'd seen to come up with my own version using the simplest of ingredients. It is so easy to put together and you can make this up to three days in advance so if you have guests coming over and you can be prepared well in advance.
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups water
1/4 cup fresh lavender flowers(food grade) (use 2 tablespoons of dried lavender if you don't have fresh lavender)
1/2 cup pansies (purple petunias or violets can be used too)
juice of one lime
2 tablespoons tequilla (or vodka) - optional
In a medium saucepan combine sugar and water until the sugar dissolves and simmers for about 5 minutes. Put the lavender and 1/4 cup of sugar in the food processor (or blender) and process for 3 minutes or until the flowers and sugar are completely blended.
Add the lavender mixture to the saucepan and cobine well and then let it stand for at least an hour. Strain the mixture and set it aside.
Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil and pour it over the pansies and let the pansey/water steep for 15 minutes. Stir it occasionally.
Strain the pansey through cheesecloth and then squeeze the cheesecloth to release as much color as possible.
Blend the pansey water into the lavender syrup that you have previously set aside.
Add the tequilla and lime juice.
Place the mixture in a freezer safe contain and chill. Once it becomes frosty/icey put it back in the food processor (or blender) and re-process until smooth and then pour into serving dishes and put back into the freezer to freeze.
Can be made up to three days in advance.