apple & lavender combination revisited (TGRWT#6 cont)

summary: making Apple Lavender Tarts again; information about “They Go Really Well Together (TGRWT)”

TGRWT-6 update

I made Apple Lavender Tarts again last night. I just couldn’t believe that the lavender flavour disappeared entirely. Before cooking, the lavender leaves are very perfumy and almost too strong in aroma and flavour. Like rosemary, the flavour borders on bitterness (no surprise there because lavender and rosemary are related). It was this very characteristic that made me think that apple and lavender wouldn’t marry well. I did not expect that the lavender would be completely upstaged by the apple!

But of course, Martin is right:

[T]his only means that the experiment was inconclusive, not that is was a failure.

sage, lavender, rosemary For last night’s tarts, I used only one sprig of lavender per tart – my poor little lavender plant really can’t bear to lose too many more leaves. (click on image for larger view)

But this time, I left the lavender leaves whole and just sprinkled them on top of the apples before closing the pastry. And because the goat cheese flavour too was lost, I used a Danish blue cheese.

Once again, there was not really much evidence of the lavender’s presence in the aroma of the just baked tarts. And blue cheese was a mistake. It only lent a sour smell to the tart as well as a bitter sour flavour in any sections where the cheese was.

But whenever there was a whole lavender leaf in the forkful of pie!! Very very interesting!! And very very surprising. The lavender flavour was definitely there. It wasn’t predominant or overpowering or perfumy. It merely added a lovely sweetness to the apple flavour.

Conclusion: Colour me surprised! Apple & lavender really do go well together!

Next time, I will omit the cheese entirely. But cider vinegar and whole lavender leaves in apple tarts are definitely keepers.

This is an addendum to my post for They Go Really Well Together (TGRWT) #6. For more information about TGRWT, please go to:

edit 6 October 2007: Inge has posted the roundup. Do take a look:

  • Vanielje Kitchen TGRWT #6 – roundup part 1 (
  • Vanielje Kitchen TGRWT #6 – roundup part 2 (


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8 responses to “apple & lavender combination revisited (TGRWT#6 cont)

  1. African Vanielje

    It’s great to know you keep trying. This is how fabulous new recipes are made. Have you tried infusing sugar for the pastry or for the apples with lavender, layering the flavours for added depth?

  2. ejm Post author

    I’m not quite sure I understand the question, AV. Are you asking if I tried infusing the sugar with lavender to put into the pastry or the apples? (I’m not a big fan of sugar in pastry – I really like pastry to be completely unsweetened.)

    I’ll try to remember to experiment with this again next year when our lavender plant (if it survives the winter) is bigger and will be better able to withstand the trimming.

  3. almost vegetarian

    I am so with you on the apple and lavender combination. Of course, I’ve never met with an apple or a bit of lavender I didn’t like, so this is of little surprise! I make a rustic tart (free-form) with both and people are always, first, surprised by the combination. Then, second, delighted.

    I also throw both into salads (drizzle a wee bit of lemon juice on the apples first so they don’t go brown on you). Wonderful.


  4. ejm Post author

    Good idea to use apple and lavender in a salad. And some sort of acid is a must to keep the apples from browning. But I think I might stick with cider vinegar rather than use lemon juice – although lemon juice would be good too. I was amazed at how well cider vinegar worked in terms of taste – even in a dessert.

    (The only reason I used cider vinegar initially was because we didn’t have any lemons or limes on hand.)

  5. Paz

    What an interesting combination. I have to look for lavendar, which isn’t immediately available in my neighborhood. I’d have to go out of my way to look for it. That can be a pain. I’ve missed stopping by here. Life has been keeping me really busy. *sigh* But I’m glad I’m here now. ;-)


  6. ejm Post author

    I know what you mean about the difficulty of having to go out of your way to look for an ingredient, Paz. Especially because you live in such a big city! It could take you hours to get from place to place, always with the risk that they don’t have what you’re looking for.

    I’m so glad you went out of your way to come and take a look in here, though!

    The other day, we rode our bikes past an Italian food store and there were several potted lavender plants in full bloom sitting out in the sun in front of the shop. I considered stopping but the store is notorious for being really overpriced. I hope that I won’t be sorry that I passed up on getting the lavender after I read the round-up of TGRWT-apple/lavender to find out what other people discovered about the apple and lavender combination. :lalala:

  7. Lana

    Hi, I was just online looking for some apple and lavender tart recipes when I found your blog. Using the leaves is an interesting idea, I’ve not seen this done before. I’ve had a few different things with lavender in before, although they have all been sweet recipes, and I have never found that the lavender taste was overpowered by the other ingredients. Have you tried using the flowers in your cooking? All the dishes I have tried have used the flowers, I think they were dried, but they added a lovely taste that was definitely noticeable. Hope this idea might be of some use to you!


  8. ejm Post author

    I have used the flowers, Lana. But alas, I didn’t have any flowers for these particular tarts. It was an interesting experiment to use the leaves though and nice to find out that they are not only entirely edible but not as overpowering cooked as one might think when tasting them raw.

    Thank you for dropping by. If do you end up trying our recipe but substitute lavender flowers for leaves, I’d be very interested to hear about the results.


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