Strawberry Shortcake with a Hint of Lavender

strawberry shortcake

The perfect festive dessert for this 4th of July party time!

Summer party, Strawberry time…..

This morning’s Farmers Market had the most luscious looking organic strawberries and blueberries at their peak of ripeness. Who could resist those plump, shiny little berries I ask you? Oh, and such a sweet farmer to boot, so proud of his harvest. Together we carefully selected our favorites and I headed home, dreaming up the best way to present these little treasures.  Opening my car door in the driveway I was embraced by the fragrance of fresh lavender lining the path, also at its peek this week. Ah ha, why not marry these two flavors for this 4th of July celebration!

Farmers Market Organic Strawberries

Farmers Market Organic Strawberries

Fresh berries are the bomb…

While the traditonal strawberry shortcake is always appreciated, it’s fun to try it with so many of the other fruits in abundance at the markets right now. Try it with fresh peaches, plums, apricots or any stone fruit really makes it great. Depending the the natural sweetness of the fruit, just add a bit of sugar to get it to the level you like, then add just a touch of lemon or lime to keep the color nice and bright. It doesn’t sit well so it best to enjoy it shortly after cutting up the fruit for the prettiest presentation.

 A hint of Lavender in the shortcakes!

A hint of Lavender in the shortcakes!

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Strawberry Shortcake with a Hint of Lavender

Simple, elegant and a little traditonal for the 4th of July!

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

For the Shortcake:

  • 1 Tablespoons fresh lavender flower chopped very fine
  • 2  cups unbleached flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter cut up into cubes
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (vanilla is good too)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half

For the Filling:

  • 1 pint of fresh Strawberries
  • 1/2 pint fresh Blueberries
  • 1 T good quality balsamic ( I like fig balsamic for this)
  • sugar to your taste depending on sweetness of the fruit
  • juice from a half a lemon

For the Topping:

  • 1 pint of plain greek yogurt
  • 2 T fine sugar
  • 1 Tsp almond or vanilla extract ( I like almond as it has great flavor and does not tint the yogurt but vanilla is yummy too)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  •  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or very lightly grease it.
  •  Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to combine, mixing in the finely chopped lavender flowers.
  • Cut butter into the bowl and using a pastry blender or two knives cut it into the flour mixture. Continue cutting until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs and no large lumps of butter remain. This makes the shortcakes light and flaky.
  • Combine the egg, cream, almond (or vanilla) extract together in a mixing cup.
  • Mix wet ingredients into the dry ingredients taking care not to over mix. A light touch is important here so you don’t toughen the dough. You want light fluffy shortcakes.
  • Onto a lightly floured surface pat into a 8 inch round with a even thickness of 1 inch.
  • Cut out shortcakes using a biscuit cutter, or a dip the lip of a glass into a pile of flour and use that to cut the biscuits, place carefully on a baking sheet keeping the nice shape.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden on top then cool on wire rack. Check for doneness at about 10 minutes so you don’t overcook them, they can dry out. Baking time will depend on the thickness of the biscuit you pat out.
  • Cut the shortcakes in half, top with the berry mixture and the juices and a dollop of sweetened yogurt, place other half of top and add another dollop of yogurt, a little sprig of mint and a lavender flower.

Kaboom, let the fireworks begin!  Enjoy your Holiday!

Side Note: Lavender can be a potent ingredient when used in cooking.

So keep that in mind when experimenting with this particular herb. It pairs very nicely with fruit and citrus though, which seems to mellow it a bit.  A little bit goes a long way.

 

 

 

 

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