Let Lavender Lighten Your Christmas Table

 

Here at our lovely Jersey Lavender Farm, we are HUGE fans of Christmas, not in the least because it is one of the quieter times on the farm as the hectic summer rush of harvesting, drying and distilling is over! 

We love everything about Christmas – the decorations, the time spent with friends and family and not in the least the food! However there always comes the day when we just can’t face another dried fruit and spice rich mince pie, slice of Christmas cake or bowl of Christmas pudding.

 

cooking with lavender

 

So we turn to our bountiful lavender farm larder to provide the inspiration for a light, fresh and floral Christmas treat. Have a look at some of the festive ideas below and add a little lavender to your Christmas food and drinks:

Lavender and Lemon Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta is often the perfect dessert to serve as an indulgent treat between Christmas and New Year, when you still want something luxurious but definitely need something just that little bit lighter. The combination of floral lavender and fresh zest lemon tempered by the silky smooth cream is just the ticket!

Here’s how you can make this delightful combination in which to serve for 4: 

1. Heat 250ml whole milk, 250ml double cream, the zest of 1 lemon, 25g caster sugar and 1 teaspoon of our lovely dried culinary lavender until just before boiling point. Then take off the heat and leave to infuse for at least an hour.

2. Soak 3 gelatine leaves in cold water until softened.

3. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine leaves and add to the pan.

4. Gently reheat the cream, stirring all the time until the gelatine has dissolved.

5. Strain the liquid into a jug and the pour into 4 oiled ramekins.

6. Place the panna cottas in the fridge for at least an hour until set and then simply turn out and enjoy!

 

Grilled Duck Breasts with Lavender

The deep luxuriousness of duck is perfect at Christmas but the fatty meat does need something fragrant to cut the richness. But forget orange or cherry, lavender can be the perfect thing. This recipe simply seasons duck breasts with lavender salt before grilling.

Check out how to make Grilled Duck breast that spiced up with lavender;

1. Use a pestle and mortar to crush 1 teaspoon of dried culinary lavender buds. Once partially ground add 1 tablespoon of coarse sea salt flakes and further pound to combine into a fragrant rub. Or if you’re short on time simply reach for a jar of our Lavender and Herb Salt!

2. Score the fat of the duck breasts at 1cm intervals, making sure that you cut right through the fat but not into the meat.

3. Rub a generous sprinkle of lavender salt into the skin and leave for 5 minutes to infuse.

4. Grill the duck breasts on a medium heat until the majority of the fat has rendered, the skin is crisp and golden and the meat deliciously pink and tender inside.

5. Simply serve with some steamed new potatoes and green veg.

 

Lavender Sugar

There are 2 ways to make delicious lavender sugar. Firstly, you can add sprigs of dried lavender to a jar of sugar and leave the lavender to infuse its scent for up to a month. Then simply remove the lavender sprigs (if desired) and sprinkle all your festive favourites with a little hit of fragrant sweetness.

Or for the slightly less organised amongst us, simply add 1 to 2 teaspoons (to taste – remember you can always add more!) of our lovely dried culinary lavender to 125g of granulated sugar and blitz in a food processor. You can try this sprinkled on hot mince pies fresh from the oven. Yummy!

 

Lavender Hot Chocolate 

This makes enough for one mug, but simply increases the quantities to satisfy a crowd.

1. Pour 1 cup of milk into a small pan and add 1 teaspoon of dried culinary lavender, bring it up to scalding point (just before it boils) and then turn off the heat and leave it to infuse for about 5 minutes.

2. Next add 10g of dark chocolate, 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder, a tiny pinch of sea salt (this really brings out the flavour) and 1-2 teaspoons of honey (to taste) and whisk until smooth and frothy.

This type of drink is perfect after a bracing winter walk.

 

Lavender Fizz 

First of all you need to make a lavender syrup (this can be done in advance). Simply add 400ml water, 200g white sugar and 10g of dried culinary lavender to a small pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer partially covered for 10-15 minutes until the syrup has thickened and is sweet and fragrant.

You can now strain out the lavender if desired, but we love the look of the lavender in the finished drink. Now all you need to do is add 2-3 tablespoons of your lavender syrup to a champagne flute and top up with your choice of sparkling wine. The perfect and real treat on Christmas Morning or to bring in the New Year. Fizz-tastic!

 

Lavender Christmas Pudding

Don’t like the good old traditional Christmas Pudding? Well fear not, a sprinkling of our gorgeous dried culinary lavender is here to help! 

Try a lovely White Chocolate and Lavender Steamed Pudding for your Christmas dessert this year. Simply mix together a sponge mixture of 140g soft brown sugar, 100g soft butter, 2 beaten eggs and 170g self-raising flour and add a little milk until you achieve a good dropping consistency.

Then all you need to do is fold in 100g chopped white chocolate and 1 teaspoon of dried culinary lavender.

Next simply pack the mixture into a greased 1.5 pint pudding basin, cover with a square of greased baking parchment (that has a pleat folded into the middle to allow for expansion) and steam for 2 hours.

On the day to serve it, simply reheat (or cook from scratch), garnish with a sprig of lavender and serve with lashing of vanilla custard. The Christmas pudding that comes with a little twist. 

Lavender is often best associated with spring and summer, but one of the many wonderful things about lavender is how well it dries, thus meaning that we can enjoy its wonders all year long. And what better time to enjoy lavender, than at Christmas!

Jersey Lavender Farm Shop