LEMON HONEY Infused With Lavender
- 100 g butter + 1 small knob about 10g
- Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
- 2-3 lavender heads, optional - see note above
- Juice of 2 large Meyer lemons about ½ cup
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- 2 tablespoons mild honey
- Gently melt 100g butter, don't let it bubble. Remove from the heat and add the lemon zest and lavender. Set aside to infuse for 10 minutes.
- Combine the lemon juice, egg yolks, whole egg, and honey in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Strain the butter through a small sieve into the bowl – discard the lemon zest and lavender heads.
- Prepare a double boiler by sitting the mixing bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Use a wooden spoon to gently mix until the sauce coats the back the spoon. Drop in the extra knob of butter and mix until melted. Remove from the heat.
- Prepare the jars – see below – then pour the hot sauce into the hot jars. Secure the lids and cool completely. Store in the fridge and consume within one month.
If you don't think you'll get through your jar of lemon honey in a month, whip up this five-minute lemon honey and lavender mousse for the family. Whisk 100ml cream or coconut cream in a bowl until soft peaks form. Fold through 1/3 cup thick natural yoghurt and 2-3 tablespoons lemon honey. Pour into two bowls and serve garnished with angustifolia lavender flowers.
I loved lemon honey as a child. It was one of my favourite toast toppings when I visited my grandparents, along with Nana’s homemade tayberry jam. I was convinced lemon honey was made from honey and lemon, so I was quite surprised to read the recipe later to find no honey in sight. It is similar to lemon curd with a more appetising name and thinner consistency.
According to my nana’s recipe notes, lemon honey is “a handy recipe to use up egg yolks left over when making meringue or pavlova”. This version veers quite a bit from my Nana’s original that I found tucked away in her recipe collection. It uses honey instead of sugar (obviously ;-), fewer egg yolks, and a knob of butter at the end to stabilise and give a silky smooth consistency.
Along with lemons hanging like jewels in the garden, little purple blue lavender flowers have been providing bursts of colour in the late winter garden. I adore the combo of lemon and lavender in cooking so have added a few heads to the melted butter for a gentle infusion.
The lemon honey is low sugar so once prepared it needs to be kept in the fridge and consumed within one month. When I make a small batch of preserves with a short shelf life, I use a simplified jar preparation regime. Note: for preserves stored at room temperature for many months it is essential to always sterilise in an oven or by boiling the jars and lids.
How to: wash a 400ml jar or 2 x 200ml jars with hot soapy water, rinse well and sit on a wooden board. Fill the jar(s) with boiling water. Place the lids in a bowl and cover with boiling water. After one minute, drain the jars and lids and air-dry on a rack. Or use clean hot jars straight from the dishwasher.
In the Garden – August
I know it is technically still winter outside but it is time to start planning the summer garden. Heat loving produce like tomatoes and capsicums need a good head start to grow strong healthy seedlings = big juicy tomatoes. I sowed my first round of tomato seeds last weekend, including black krim (hands down favourite from last summer), white + black cherry tomatoes, and a new to me variety called moonglow (seeds gifted in exchange for sourdough starter). So excited to see how these new varieties turn out. Share seeds if you get the opportunity, it feels great to know they have been tended and nurtured by other passionate gardeners.
Harvesting = mountains of coriander, parsley, lettuce, silverbeet, purple kohlrabi, broccoli shoots, fennel bulbs, kale, broad bean tips, oranges, lemons and mandarins.
Growing = more broccoli and cauliflower, purple kale, broad beans, garlic, asparagus, leeks, onions and spring onions.
August garden tasks = resurrect an unused children’s swing into a cucumber and pumpkin climbing gym for the summer; plant out onion seedlings and seed potatoes into prepared beds; add compost and horse manure to the glasshouse beds and sow green crop ready to plant tomato seedlings (indoors) early October; prune last of the fruit trees; tend to tomato, zucchini and cucumber seeds – read more about sowing seeds into punnets HERE. Plan more spring/summer seeds to sow next month – beans, pumpkin, squash, peas, salad greens and more.