Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lavender Pear Tea Cakes

There is always lavender growing in Linderhof's garden and in June, when it is in full bloom, we harvest it -- some is used to make wands or bottles while some buds are dried to sew into sachets and some is kept for culinary uses.
In August, when the heat of summer keeps of out of the garden, it is a joy to be inside in the breakfast room -- where we can still see the garden but the temperature is cool.

And we like to invite friends over to share this time in the garden with us. Over a cup of tea and a lavender pear tea cake. The original recipe called it a cupcake but since it seems to be consumed only at tea, I've changed the name!

I love to cook with herbs in both sweet and savory dishes. This tea cake was the perfect nosh for afternoon tea. I had company, of course, and gifted each guest with a lavender wand. And our tea -- a French pear tea.

The recipe for the tea cakes/cupcakes came from a dear friend, Mary, whom I met on another board. She was one of my first exchange partners and sent me a darling pillow for Valentine's which I use every year and think of her. But besides the pillow and the friendship, she shared this recipe and it is good. With culinary lavender in the crock and pears coming on soon. It is a must do tea cake for fall. And, of course, I've added dear Mary's name to the recipe -- so I'll always know from where it came.

Mary's Lavender Pear Tea Cake

2 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 t. baking soda
pinch of salt
2 sticks of lavender butter (see below)
2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla
3 medium sized pears (peeled and finely chopped (or grated)
1 c. champagne (not having a bottle of champagne open, I used club soda)

Sift flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar until well mixed and airy.
Add eggs, one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Slowly add in flour mixture a little bit at a time until it is fully incorporated. Stir in vanilla and champagne. Stir in pears. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until top bounces back when touched.

Lavender Butter:

Add 2 teaspoonful culinary lavender to each stick of softened butter, mix well and roll in saran wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

NOTE: This makes 24 to 30 cupcakes.

Please join Gollum for her Foodie Friday -- it's always fun to see what everyone has cooked up this Friday!


Taste the Rainbow said...

What a nice story Martha.

Thank you for such a sweet sentiment. I still have your candles, that spell out "autumn" and think of you as well.

Exchange gifts bring people together and make lasting friendships.

BTW, even though I don't comment here very often... I do read it every morning, with my coffe. ;)

Best wishes,

Tammy518 said...

These sound so good! I'm not fortunate enough to have any lavender growing, but I've been wanting to buy some to try adding it to recipes.

Signing Out said...

Such a lovely post! I love the smell of lavender, but I can honestly say I have never cooked with it. Your pear tea cakes sound wonderful.


Bernideen said...

I just put a link to you on my blog as yours is lovely!

a quiet life said...

oh i would just love this, i too have scads of lavender, but its such a hike home i get to lazy to cut it... i will make this when my pear tree is ripe~

Maryrose said...

I love this, and I have never cooked with lavender. How fun, thanks for sharing.

The Tablescaper said...

I too have never cooked with lavendar but must give it a try. Just lovely.
- The Tablescaper

Unknown said...

I have never used lavender in a recipe, but these look and sound wonderful. THANKS!!! for the recipe. Geri

Christi @ A Southern Life said...

Your lavender is lovely and your recipe sounds delicious. Lavender is supposed to help pain and have a calming effect. Wonder if eating the yummy cakes would have the same effect :)


Judy said...

I missed harvesting all my lavender blooms this year. I guess I was busy doing something else -- maybe blogging. Love this recipe and will have to try it next spring.

Melinda said...

Hi Martha--
Thanks for popping byand the warm welcome. Come back soon!
Just curious--How did you find me?


Deanna said...

Dear One,
Your Tea Cake sounds wonderful.
Want to try this.

Karine said...

This recipe looks to be packed with flavors and delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe :)

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a great way to use the lavender in your garden - in butter. I need to cut back my lavender; it's gotten leggy. A gardening friend told me my soil was too rich.

Mary Bergfeld said...

What a wonderful way to use lavender.
I've never baked with it, but I do use it to make herbs de provence. I hope you are having a wonderful day.

Poppedijne said...

Since I am havely in to cupcakes, fairy cakes and things like that I am very grateful to you for this very original recipie! I must try is one of these days.

La Table De Nana said...

Martha..thank you:) I love this idea.

honeysuckle said...

This sounds so good. I would like to try it as my lavendar is in bloom and waiting for me to use it. Thanks for sharing!

bj said...

Ummm, how delightful these sound. I hope to try them soon.

Joyce said...

Culinary lavender? Do you mean dried?

Dana and Daisy said...

I braided a few strands of lavender through the chain on my porch swing, talk about an aromatic way to relax on the porch! Just a couple is all you need!