This summer we spent a week of french country bliss in the south-west region of France. Our tiny village, Floressas, was perched high above lush valleys and vineyards. This part of France is filled with medieval villages that cling precariously to rocky cliffs overlooking the river Lot. Days were filled with walks along the riverbank, château hopping and of course market runs for the best of the local summer produce.
The charming country roads were lined with lavender so for our last day I thought it might be fun to have a garden party using it as baking inspiration. Buttery shortbread biscuits are a classic tea time treat and the addition of lavender seemed like the perfect pairing for a floral country garden party for two.
I served the biscuits alongside a peach streusel tea cake and a pot of jasmine tea. From our little perch in the garden we enjoyed views overlooking the valley and the neighboring 17th century château which also happens to produce a very tasty Malbec wine. After tea we played a round of pétanque while trying to dissuade the dog (with little success) from chasing each silver ball that was thrown.
*While I did collect lavender from the garden to use in the biscuits I'd recommend buying edible grade dried lavender from your local market. This recipe makes about 15 biscuits.
- 50g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 1tsp dried lavender flowers
- 100g butter, room temperature
- 150g plain flour
- Put the lavender flowers and sugar in a food processor and blend until fine. Sieve.
- In a large mixing bowl add the butter to the lavender sugar and mix together, then add the flour, until the mixture forms a dough.
- Turn the dough onto a work surface, roll into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.
- While your dough is chilling preheat the oven to 320°F(160°C)
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut into your favorite biscuit shapes.
- Dust with sugar and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden.
- Decorate with fresh lavender and enjoy.