oh honey . . . bees should not have all of the fun: apricots, miel de lavande and fromage blanc

lavender

oh honey . . . bees should not have all of the fun:
apricots, miel de lavande and fromage blanc

It is the little things that make the difference. This week it is the delicious detail of miel de lavande (lavender honey) inspired by my recent stay in Provence where neither my children nor the bees could get enough of the lavender fields that cover the landscape. With Provence in mind, grilled apricots and lavender honey over fromage blanc is this week’s simple pleasure.

lavender field

In July and August the lavender is in bloom in Provence. Lavender flowers have many culinary uses in Provence. They are added to custards, fruit tarts, sables, ice cream, in fruit or green salads, on meats, and with cheeses, to name a few. Apricots and lavender are a common pairing.

Lavender honey is the result of honey bees feeding on the lavender (just like chestnut honey or acacia honey is the result of bees feeding on those particular flowers). Lavender honey is prevalent in the south of France and poured over yogurt or fromage blanc with muesli for breakfast, served with goat cheeses, added to madelines or to sweeten teas or water. Honey is a natural sugar and far better for you than processed sugar (it still has calories though so don’t go crazy thinking it is calorie-free).

Lavender honey can be found in many stores and on the internet.  You can cheat and make your own lavender honey by adding a little lavender extract to the honey (although it will not taste the same because you are mixing it to a honey that was the result of bees feeding on something else, usually orange blossoms).

Fromage blanc (“white cheese”) is a kitchen cheese. A kitchen cheese is a kitchen cheese which means it is a soft cheese that can easily be made in your own kitchen as it is only curdled milk and cream to which you add an acid. It is creamy and smooth, similar in texture and taste to a quality greek yogurt which can serve as a substitute. 

In July and August the lavender is in bloom in Provence. Lavender flowers have many culinary uses in Provence. They are added to custards, fruit tarts, sables, ice cream, in fruit or green salads, on meats, and with cheeses, to name a few. Apricots and lavender are a common pairing.

Lavender honey is the result of honey bees feeding on the lavender (just like chestnut honey or acacia honey is the result of bees feeding on those particular flowers). Lavender honey is prevalent in the south of France and poured over yogurt or fromage blanc with muesli for breakfast, served with goat cheeses, added to madelines or to sweeten teas or water. Honey is a natural sugar and far better for you than processed sugar (it still has calories though so don’t go crazy thinking it is calorie-free).

Lavender honey can be found in many stores and on the internet.  You can cheat a little and make your own lavender honey by adding a little lavender extract to the honey (although it will not taste the same because you are mixing it to a honey that was the result of bees feeding on something else, usually orange blossoms).

When the summer fruit is gone (or it should be gone…), use the honey with fresh figs, with muesli and/or dried fruits/flax seeds for breakfast, add it to that autumn cup of hot tea (or iced), or add a dollop to a dish of chocolate ice cream. It stores well in the refrigerator for a long time just let it come to room temperature before use. 

Je vous souhaite un bon appétit !

LM

 

grilled apricots and lavender honey over fromage blanc

grilled apricots and lavender honey over fromage blanc

 

stats:

serves 4

what you need:

2 cups fromage blanc (or fromage frais, whipped mascarpone, or quality greek yogurt)
4 beautiful apricots, halved and pits removed
12 tablespoons French lavender honey, room temperature
lavender flowers (optional)

how to:

  • Cook Apricots. Rub the face side of the apricots lightly with olive oil.  Place apricots face side down on a grill (use skewer if necessary)  or in a sauté pan over medium heat.  Cook for a few minutes until soft and the flesh side is lightly browned.
  • Assemble.  Place one half a cup of fromage blanc in a cup or small bowl.  Add apricots in an attractive way. Pour lavender honey over the cheese and the apricots. 
  • Garnish.  Garnish with lavender flowers.

 apricots on a skewer

 

 

 

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