Last month, a friend and I attended a lavender workshop at Pharsalia, an 1814 plantation in the foothills of Blue Ridge Mountains, near Roseland, Virginia. We explored the grounds for a while then sat down under century-old magnolia trees to learn more about growth and uses for one of my favorite plants.
After taking home a bunch of lavender and drying it upside down in my kitchen window for a few weeks, I decided it was time to put it to good use. One thing I learned from our workshop is that lavender can be substituted for rosemary in any recipe (they are both part of the mint family). One of my go-to pastry recipes is rosemary & strawberry scones. With my new workshop knowledge, I decided to make lavender scones instead and was so pleased with the results. The flavor is bright and subtly sweet and just perfect for summer.
Lavender Lemon Scones
Ingredients for Scones:
2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon dried lavender buds
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup lemon curd (I love Trader Joe’s)
Ingredients for Glaze:
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice from one large lemon
2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons water
Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, baking powder, lavender, salt, and butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. (This can also be done by hand with fingertips or a handheld pastry blender.) Gradually stir in cream until the mixture forms a dough. Place dough in saran wrap and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes or so. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 1/2-inch thick, 10-inch circle. Using a biscuit cutter (can also use the mouth of a round glass or mason jar lid), cut out circular pieces of dough and put on the prepared baking sheet. Roll out any leftover pieces of dough and roll out to 1/2-inch thick. Cut again and add to the baking sheet. Using an index finger, gently make an indentation in the center of each pastry. Spoon a heaped 1/2 teaspoon of lemon curd into each indentation. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Transfer the cooked scones onto a wire rack and cool for 30 minutes.
For the glaze: In a medium bowl, mix together the lemon juice and powdered sugar until smooth. Gradually add the water until the mixture is thin enough to spread. Using a whisk or spoon, drizzle the glaze over the scones. Let the glaze set for about 30 minutes, or if you can’t wait another second, dig in. Be prepared for sticky fingers and deliciousness!