Lemon pies with lavender
'Everyone familiar with lavender bags to hang in your closet or lavender scented soap, knows what lavender smells like. Lavender used as a herb for culinary purposes is a little less common. The herb is hardly used outside of Southern France and mixed herbs Provençale.
This recipe includes the use of lavender flowers, mainly for the taste, but also for the looks. The flowers have a strong sweet flavour, which makes them very suitable to combine with the freshness of lemon.'
Put all the pastry shell ingredients in a bowl, mix and knead until you have a consistent ball of dough.
Wrap the dough in cling film and allow it to rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
Grease the pastry mould.
Dust the work top and the dough with flour and roll out the dough until you have a slab of approx. 5 mm thick.
Cover the pastry mould with the dough.
Use a fork to prick holes in the dough and allow the pastry shell to rest in the fridge a little more.
Preheat the oven at 180 ºC.
Put a sheet of baking paper with pie weights (dry rice suits this purpose too) on the dough and bake the pastry shell in the oven for about 20 minutes.
Remove the baking paper and the pie weights and bake the pastry shell for another 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling recipe (you can also do this one or two days in advance).
Zest the lemons and press their juice.
Put a pan with a thin layer of water over a low flame and hang a heat-resistant bowl in the top of the pan, making sure that it does not touch the water by a few centimetres (in a bain-marie).
Put the butter, sugar and lemon zest in this bowl and stir until the butter has fully melted. When the mixture is smooth you can add the lemon juice.
Take the bowl from the fire, allow it to cool off for a bit and in the meantime beat the eggs in a different bowl.
Next, add the beaten eggs to the bain-marie lemon mixture and keep on stirring. You can put the bowl back on the fire.
The heat of the water in the pan will ensure the mixture to thicken slowly. This will take about 20 minutes. Continue stirring slowly until the mixture reaches the appropriate consistency.
Take the bowl from the pan and allow the mixture to cool off.
Now fill the/each pastry shell with the lemon curd, up to approx. 1 cm below the edge. Allow the pie(s) to fully cool off before serving and store them in the fridge, in a properly closed container.
Decorate the pie(s) with lavender flowers.