Dried food-grade lavender can be found online and in gourmet specialty shops. Here, it’s used to infuse macerated strawberries and to flavor the dough of tender shortcakes.
- 4 cups quartered strawberries, plus more for garnish
- 3 Tbs. sugar, divided
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 2 tsp. dried lavender, divided
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- 4 Tbs. trans fat–free margarine or butter, cut into small pieces
- ¼ cup plain almond milk
- 8 Tbs. light whipped cream, plus more if desired
1. Fold together strawberries, 2 Tbs. sugar, lemon juice, and 1 tsp. dried lavender in bowl. Chill 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, or spray with cooking spray. Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, remaining 1 Tbs. sugar, and remaining 1 tsp. lavender in large bowl.
3. Mix in margarine with fork or pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Stir in almond milk, adding more if necessary for mixture to hold together and form a ball.
4. Knead dough on floured work surface 3 to 4 times until dough is smooth. Cut out 4 dough circles with 2-inch cutter. Press together remaining dough, and cut out 1 or 2 more circles.
5. Transfer circles to prepared baking sheet, and bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until tops are golden. Cool. (Shortcakes will keep overnight wrapped in a towel.)
6. To serve: Split shortcakes in half crosswise. Place 4 bottom halves on plates; top each with 1/2 cup strawberry mixture and 1 Tbs. whipped cream. Add 4 shortcake tops, and garnish each with 1/4 cup more strawberry mixture and 1 Tbs. whipped cream. Use remaining shortcakes for breakfast or afternoon tea.
June 2013 p.61