Sorbet de Lavande en Tulipes

Lavender Sorbet in Biscuit Tulips

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    8–10

    biscuits.

Appears in

I had always wanted to devise a lavender sorbet using the fresh flowers from my French lavender bushes. And one autumn when I returned from France I discovered that the Country Gentlemen’s Association had published this recipe from John McGeever, head chef at Congham Hall in lavender-growing Norfolk. I love it but a friend said the taste reminded him of being in a nightclub at 3 o’clock in the morning ! The sorbet is even more beguiling served in these fragile biscuits that resemble folded porcelain.

Ingredients

Sorbet

  • 2 ripe Ogen or honeydew melons
  • 1–2 lemons
  • 115 g(4 oz) caster sugar
  • ½ bottle champagne or dry sparkling wine
  • 15 g(½ oz) fresh lavender flowers
  • 2 egg whites
  • a few drops of blue colouring

Tulipes

  • 2 egg whites
  • 115 g(4 oz) caster sugar
  • a few drops of vanilla essence
  • 45 g( oz) flour
  • 55 g(2 oz) butter, melted

Method

Halve the melons, discard the seeds and scrape all the flesh into a blender or processor. Purée with the juice of the lemons and the sugar.

Gently warm the wine in a glass or enamel pan, remove from the heat and stir in the lavender flowers. Leave to infuse for 10–15 minutes and strain through a fine sieve, pressing to extract the oil. Cool and add to the purée.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the lavender purée. Add a drop or two of blue food colouring if you wish, just to give the sorbet a pale lavender hue.

Turn into a lidded plastic container and freeze. Whisk lightly after 30 minutes to check that no liquid has separated out at the bottom. Freeze until firm.

To make the tulipes, whisk the egg whites lightly, add the sugar and vanilla essence and whisk again. Sift the flour on to the mixture and stir in the melted butter.

Place level tablespoons of the mixture, well-spaced, on buttered non-stick baking sheets. Bake in a hot oven (Mark 7, 220°C, 425 F) for about 5 minutes until each biscuit is pale yellow with a golden brown rim.

Remove from the oven, leave for 30 seconds, and then, using a palette knife, gently lift off each biscuit and place over an upturned glass or into a shallow dish or bowl, fluting the edge as you do so. After a few minutes when the tulipe has cooled and hardened, lift off and place on a wire rack. Store the tulipe in a lidded box in a dry place until required. These biscuits also freeze well for up to 2 months.

Loading
Loading
Loading