Lavender Sorbet with Blueberry Soup

It makes a big difference using fresh lavender. The aromatic oils fade fairly quickly, and if you use dried lavender the flavour tends to be somewhat musty. This sorbet recipe is one I have been using for eighteen years, since the hot summer of 1982 when I raided my mother's lavender bush and started cooking with flowers for the first time.

Ingredients

Sorbet

  • 600 mls (1 pint) water
  • 400 g (14 oz) granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lavender flowers

Soup

  • 400 g (14 oz) blueberries
  • 100 mls (4 oz) red grape juice
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 600 mls (1 pint) chilled water

Method

Make a syrup of the water and sugar and bring to the boil. Thinly peel off the lemon zest, and put it with the lavender flowers in the boiling syrup. Leave to infuse for an hour or so.

Stir in the lemon juice, strain the infusion, cool and freeze. Using less sugar will give you a grainier sorbet, and more sugar makes it smoother.

Put all but a handful of the blueberries, the grape juice, lemon juice, sugar and water in the blender, and blend until smooth.

Pour into chilled soup plates, and add a scoop or quenelle of the lavender sorbet. The whole blueberries are added for garnish; fresh lavender flowers or mint leaves can also be used.

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