This recipe is one I made up from my Lavender Shortbread recipe (though they are quite common now on the web) and a simple lemon cheesecake filling on a shortbread crust – serve with a few fresh berries and some candied citrus zest, recipe below. For a quick solution buy some lavender shortbread biscuits and make a crumb crust with butter and probably finely grated lemon zest – though you should use less butter than with digestive biscuits for instance as the butter content of shortbread is quite high (about one fifth of the weight of the shortbread crumbs).
Absolutely fabulous dessert for that special dinner on Valentine´s Day.
Update – when buying lavender for culinary use, buy from a reputable dealer.
For information on which variety is most suitable for culinary use, visit this site.
150 grams plain white flour
30 grams cornflour, sifted
120 grams unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
60 grams lavender sugar (caster)
600 ml double cream, lightly whipped
500 grams mascarpone cheese
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
2 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
- Brush a 20 cm spring form cake tin with melted butter.
- Put the butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and beat until pale and creamy – if using a stand free mixer, scrape down the bowl side and beat for a few seconds.
- Sift the flour and cornflour into the bowl and mix well, place into the prepared tin and lightly press into the base and up the sides, smooth out using the back of a dessert spoon.
- Cover with clingfilm and chill in the fridge until the oven comes up to temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 150ºC, 300ºF or gas mark 2.
- Prick all over the base, bake on the centre shelf of a preheated oven for approx. 20 minutes, or until a very light gold colour.
- Remove from oven, put onto a cooling rack and leave until completely cool before adding the filling.
- Beat the cream and mascarpone until smooth.
- Add the lemon juice and zest plus the icing sugar, mix only until combined (taste, add more sugar or lemon if necessary).
- Spoon the filling over the shortbread crust, smoothing out the top with a palette knife.
- Chill overnight in the refrigerator.
- Serve with bilberries, blueberries, raspberries or strawberries or top with a fruit glaze
Candied citrus zest
2 large organic lemons, limes, oranges or a mixture
75 ml cold water
75 grams granulated sugar
- Wash the fruit using a soft brush under cold running water.
- Using a zester, remove the zest from the fruits in long strips.
- Place into a saucepan and cover with cold water, cook over a medium heat, bring up to the simmer then cook for five minutes. Remove from heat, drain and return them to the pan.
- Repeat step 3 once more.
- Add 75 ml of cold water and 75 grams of sugar, bring up to the simmer, reduce temperature to low and continue cooking until translucent and the water becomes syrupy and thickens
- Continue cooking for ten minutes then remove from the heat, (carefully) take the zest from the pan and place over a wire rack, separating the strips as you work
- Leave to cool and dry
- Optional – dust in fine sugar
Lavender sugar -Caster sugar, Dried lavender blossoms or fresh flower heads
16 oz Kilner Jar
- If using fresh flower heads, blanch in boiling water for 1 minute, remove from the pan and place on kitchen paper – pat dry.
- If the flowers are fresh, allow them to dry, then layer the sugar and lavender blossom in the Kilner Jar and seal.
- Put in a cool, dry place (a larder, cupboard or pantry) for two weeks – I usually place the lavender in a piece of muslin and sew up with cotton, add half of the sugar, top with the bag then add remaining sugar – I leave this bag in the sugar for only one week, and shake daily – remove the bag, no need to sieve).
- Pour the sugar and lavender mixture through a sieve to remove the blossoms and return to a clean Kilner Jar.
- This sugar can be used in shortbread, biscuits, ice cream or tea.