But, for a standalone syrup to drizzle over shortbreads, vanilla ice cream, or you name it, add 1 1/2 cups sugar to the boiling water before you add the
lavender. Heat on low until the sugar melts. Once the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear, turn the heat up and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 or so
minutes until a very light syrup develops. Then add the lavender and follow the forthcoming steps.
1/2 cup dried lavender blossoms
3 cups water
Vanilla bean (optional)
1 ½ cups sugar (for sweetened syrup only)
Yield: 1 ½ pints
The first step for these recipes--and for most any dish you will use that incorporates lavender--is to start by making simple syrup. Directions to make a
standalone, sweetened version will follow.
1. If you don't have the luxury of harvesting your own buds, (and if you do, make sure it hasn't been treated by pesticides) most health food stores will
sell dried lavender blossoms. Add the dried blossoms to the boiling water. You can add vanilla bean seeds to enhance the flavor if you like.
2. Turn off the heat after the buds have boiled for a minute, and quickly cover the pot.
3. Once cooled, strain through a sieve and store for three months or more.
Blueberry Lavender Jam
Not too sweet and with plenty of lavender flavor, this jam is exquisite with cheese or alone on a buttered biscuit.
1/2 cup to 1 cup of lavender syrup (to taste)
2 cups fresh blueberries
Half cup to 1 cup granulated sugar (to taste)
Zest and juice of half a lemon
Yield: Two half pint jars (Note: For those who want to make a larger yield and store the jam, instructions for preserving and sterilization follow this recipe.)
1. Pulse blueberries in the blender until crushed.
2. Combine blueberries, lemon zest and juice in a large saucepan. Stir in the sugar and lavender syrup to taste.
3. I found that the flavor of the blueberries warranted less sugar and more syrup in favor of a stronger lavender taste. Bring to a boil over high heat,
4. Stir jam continuously for 20-30 minutes, or until it is thick and no longer runny when cooled. Remove the jam from heat. When completely cool, spoon
The finished product is delicious on toast with creamy brie.
For preservation: If you are going to preserve jam, prepare jars and lids: place four half-pint jars on rack in large pot. Add enough water to cover
jars, and bring to boil over high heat. Boil for 10 minutes, then turn off heat and allow jars to rest in the hot water. Meanwhile, put bands and lids
in small saucepan and cover with water. Heat over medium heat until the water is simmering, then remove pan from heat and allow bands and lids to rest
in hot water until ready to use.
After the jam is prepared, ladle it into the hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch space at the top. Wipe the rims of the jars, cover with lids, and
screw the bands on until just barely fitted. Set the jars on the rack in pot and immerse in water, then boil over high heat for 10 minutes. Turn off
the heat, and let the jars sit for five minutes. Remove the jars allow them to cool for at least six hours.