tarte à la lavande et citron

missioncarmelInspired by the gardens at Mission Carmel and the fragrant lavender my daughter gathered into my Mother’s Day bouquet, I attempted a classic French dessert this week.  I’m still working on the travel story, which includes a review of one of my favorite light-filled literary spaces, River House Books, but the recipe and photos are below.

If you cook, you know that these days most recipes come to us from the internet, of course.  Who needs to buy an entire cookbook, which will not only take up space but gather dust, when you could quickly Google any recipe you desire?  Who needs to do that?  Well, I have to tell you I am quickly becoming obsessed with beautiful cookbooks, books that are not only full of gorgeous photography but soft paper, sophisticated graphic design, and captivating storytelling.  Whenever I pop into Anthropologie, I always wander through their aprons and bakeware and teacups and cookbooks, and last year for my birthday I bought myself Hillary Davis’s divine French Comfort Food.  Not only do Steven Rothfeld’s photographs transport me into some Parisian Café and place a perfectly crisp croissant in my hands, but Davis’s recipes have been delighting my loved ones as well.


IMG_5573Davis calls her classic French dessert “Very Lemon Tart In a Butter Cookie Crust,” or tarte au citron, but as I said, I wanted to work in some of the lavender my daughter tucked into a beautiful bouquet she gave me for Mother’s Day.  Experimentation paid off on this first attempt, and it was dare I say, delicious!  You do need a few handy kitchen gadgets to pull this off, most especially a Cuisinart and a good fluted tart pan with a false bottom.  But with those on hand, the rest of this is really easy!  (Note on the recipe that I substituted the cinnamon for two tablespoons fresh lavender blooms, and it was the perfect amount: fragrant but not overpowering and not at all crunchy in the perfect buttery crust)

Click on the photos to view the gallery images, and when you’re finished use the “escape” key to exit or find your way out however you can on your ipad or phone.  Apologies for some of the images rotating however they please depending on the device you are using to view them.  C’est la vie avec la technologie!

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