Serves: Makes 16 slices
There is no reason why you can’t make this in the depths of winter and use lavender extract (see souschef website) or dried flowers-but freshly picked flowerheads in midsummer beat both hands down. I prefer the flavour of lavandula angustifolia (formerly L. officinalis) or French lavender both of which have narrow heads that separate easily rather than the L.stoechas (Spanish lavender).
- Four heads of freshly picked lavender, finely chopped (about 2 teaspoons)
- 100g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 250g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
- 250g plain flour
- 80g cornflour
- Grease and base-line 2 x 17cm cake tins with discs of non-stick baking parchment. Mix the chopped lavender with the caster sugar and place in a mixing bowl with the butter. Beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the flour and cornflour just until the mixture resembles a coarse crumble.
- Divide the mixture between the two prepared cake tins and press down (easiest with the (clean) palm of your hand) to level out the surface. Prick with a fork and chill for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 170˚c, fan oven 150˚c, mark 3. Bake the shortbread for about 35-40 minutes until firm and uniformly a pale golden colour. Remove from the oven and dust with a little extra caster sugar. Mark out into wedges-about 8 per tin. Leave to cool completely then lift out of the tin and store in an airtight container.