Saturday, June 18, 2016

Lavender Flan repeat post!

Hello, everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back and with a repeat from May 2014. I've always loved lavender, as a scent, as an herb, and as a flavoring. So, this lavender flan has made quite a few appearances on our table, especially when we have guests that I know will appreciate the flavor!
But first, a peek at the pies I made the other day: fresh picked rhubarb and strawberry is my favorite.
 Good thing it takes so much time because I'd love a fresh, hot pie every day!
We love these flowers that grow in our garden. I'm not sure what they are (I keep forgetting to look them up) but they're a lovely precursor to the veggies.
Now, going back in time to 2014!
 A friend of mine rescued a batch of abandoned kittens. This meant getting kitten replacement milk from the vet. (It actually came in a little pop top can. Hilarious.)
 (My friend Lili took this picture of one of her own cats investigating the newcomers. This kitten's viciousness had me howling with laughter. "Easy there, tiger!")
She fed them through the night, every few hours. Come morning, she was realizing... who is going to watch these sweet babies while she's at work?
 So, she calls the stay at home mom and her six home schooled kids.... but we were on the way to Pendleton (about 45 minutes away) for our yearly state testing! I told her we would LOVE to foster the babies, right after we took 3 hours of state academic tests.
 And it worked out! She brought them over as soon as we got back. We fed them with little eye droppers and then took them out for exercise.
 Here's our puppy trying to figure out what they are. The hissing and back arching was pretty hilarious.
 We put the dog back in the house so the kitties could play without having to show off their Ninja skillz. When the day was over, we gave them back. My friend found someone to take them on full time until they were old enough to find forever homes. But we loved being foster parents for the day!
 Sammy learns to feed the babies...
 My friend Barbara brought over a picnic lunch. Deviled eggs, shredded chicken salad, fried deli chicken, mint chocolate chip ice cream, fresh fruit. YUMMY. And we welcomed her with... kittens. Here she is, helping the little guys feed one of the calicos.
 OK, now on to the recipe. You'll need fresh, organic lavender. Organic because we're going to put it in our food. No pesticides, please! I've had lavender flan before, but wasn't sure exactly how to make it. I decided to take an easy flan recipe and just infuse the lavender into the milk during the cooking. Here goes!
 Now, you'll need 1/2 cup sugar, plus 3 TBS sugar
    4 cups whole milk
ten stems lavender
5 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
fresh fruit for topping (I was going to use blackberries but my youngest ATE THEM ALL when I wasn't looking)
 Preheat oven to 325F. Combine 1/2 cup and 2 TBS water in saucepan and heat until darkened. This will be the caramel on the bottom. It takes about ten minutes and then remove it from the heat, let it cool, and ladle into the bottom of 6 ramekins.
 Boil the milk with 3 TBS sugar and lavender. Boil for 15 minutes. Let cool. Strain out the lavender. It should smell GOOOD.
 "Watcha cookin' ??"
 Here's the caramel in the ramekins. It wasn't as dark as I wanted, but I didn't want to cook it too long.
 Hm. Smells good, anyway.
Apparently I missed a step with the pictures!
Beat the eggs and the vanilla together in a small bowl. Don't over beat. Add in the cooled milk and then pour over the caramel.
 Fill the dish with about an inch of water. Bake about 35 minutes until set. Remove from the water bath and let cool. 
Since someone ate all the blackberries, I thought a pear might be a good match for the lavender. Mmmm. Not sure the variety, but it's delicious!
 Now's the hard part... let them cool in the fridge for eight hours or overnight. The next day, carefully turn the flan out onto a dish, letting the caramel fill the dish.
The pear was a very pretty color and looked right at home with the caramelized flan.
 All in all, I really thought this recipe was a hit. 

The little guys loved it because it was tasty, the middle kids loved it because it had "weeds" from the garden in it, and the older kids loved it because of the unique lavender flavor. Very delicate and sweet! For such an easy recipe, I would give this a two thumbs-up for presentation and as a conversation-starter!

Be sure to drop by my author page at Mary Jane Hathaway, or my other author page at Virginia Carmichael, or my blog at The Things That Last! All my newest book news and musings is there, including anything else that strikes my fancy!


  1. You know, I think I could do rhubarb with berries. Looks yum. And those kittens.

    Do you suppose lavender creme brulee would work?

    1. I'm sure it would! I think the key to lavender is lightly infused...

  2. I looked it up. Lots of recipes for lavender creme brulee. Have torch will try this.

  3. Tina, I had black raspberry creme brulee a couple of weeks ago and it was such a fun twist, to have berries sprinkled through! I bet the lavender would be amazing.

    What a perfect individual dish to serve for a tea party shower! Wouldn't this be marvelous???? I love impressing the ladies with fun tea-food!!!!! I might steal this idea for a book, actually, Mary Jane... it would fit right in with the proper scoffing by the men folk!!!!

    1. HAHAHA! I bet it would! My husband doesn't scoff at weird plants in the food. He's the weirdest eater of them all. But I can see a city man not wanting to eat plants from the yard.

  4. Ah, puppies and kittens get me every time. And so funny how they instinctively seem to realize dogs are the enemy. I mean, they are orphans -- who told them that?

    I've had lavender scones which are amazing. And there's an organic chocolate bar that has a lavender flavour. Yum...haven't had it for quite a while. Must hunt them down. So this recipe sounds divine. I have a wee bit of lavender growing in my garden. Used to have more but something happened to it the last few years. Must plant more.

    1. Right? They see "big scary animal" and all make the same arching back and hissing sounds!

  5. So sweet. We were just reminiscing with a friend about a kitten my husband tried to save many years ago. He and his friend had found two abandoned kittens and were trying to help them. He didn't know what to do so he called this friend and she recommended Similac. Maybe they didn't have what you used back then.

    I didn't know him back then, but the idea of my big husband feeding dropperfuls of Similac to a baby kitten is so sweet.

    Speaking of said husband - he loves LOVES flan.

    1. So does mine! And my husband has nursed baby rabbits before when the mama rabbit rejected them. There was one that fit in his Tshirt pocket. TINY.