Last summer, my friend Sandie invited me to meet her at the public market early one Saturday morning. There were some things she had discovered that she wanted me to taste which included a bite (or two…or three..) of a lemon-lavender sweet roll.
Since I just made Cinnamon Rolls with a Trick and a Twist, I wanted to change things up yet still stick with my theme of keeping things simple. “What if…” I thought aloud to Darrell, “I keep the simple dough that I love (and has never let me down!), take out the cinnamon, add in a little lemon-lavender filling, and shape it into a danish with a few slivered almonds on top?”
He assured me that, flop or not, he’d eat the entirety of what came out of the oven.
With that, I picked the lavender, squeezed and zested a lemon, added a few other essential ingredients and got to work on a filling.
Both Darrell and my daughter, Cori, took some the danishes to work in search of unbiased opinions. While everyone thought they were delicious, there was some disagreement about whether they were best topped with a lemon glaze or the lemon-lavender scented sugar I used. The suggestion was made that another batch was in order just to make sure.
If you have a favorite pastry, comment in below. I’m always on the hunt for something new to try!
Hope to see you around the bread bowl for some sourdough biscuits and scones at the Seymour Library on July 22!
(This recipe makes eight large or twelve small danishes)
3 T sugar + 2 T, for topping
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
3 T shortening/butter
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup milk/soy milk/rice milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice with the zest from one lemon
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp fresh or dried lavender
2 eggs, lightly beaten
A tray of ice cubes for cooling the filling (important! Don’t leave this step out!)
Sugar topping (optional): 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp lemon zest, 1/2 tsp lavender
Start by making the filling. Place all ingredients except the eggs in a medium saucepan. Lightly beat the eggs in another small mixing bowl and set aside.
Heat the ingredients in the saucepan over medium heat until they start to bubble. Continue to boil, whisking constantly until it begins to look less opaque (just a minute or two) and begins to thicken a bit. Work quickly to whisk 1/2 the lemon mixture into the eggs then transfer back to the saucepan. Continue whisking while you bring it back to a bubble. Cook 2 additional minutes.
Place ice cubes in a pie plate, put the hot saucepan on top and continue to whisk until the filling is cool. Don’t be alarmed if it looks like it’s going to separate, keep whisking! Once it’s cook, set it aside and make your dough.
Mix 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast in large bowl. Combine shortening with liquids and heat to lukewarm (around 125 degrees; shortening doesn’t have to be completely melted.) Stir into flour mixture then add egg. Beat with mixer until smooth. (I confess I often only hand mix!)
If needed add a little more flour to make the dough easy to handle. Knead on lightly floured surface about 5 minutes. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces (you can always divide the dough into smaller pieces if you’d like).
Place one heavy tablespoon of filling in the center of each circle and spread to within an inch of the edge. Make slits about every inch or so around the uncovered edge.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. If they seem to be browning too fast, tent with some aluminum foil.
Cool on a wire rack and glaze, if desired, with a mixture of 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp softened butter, and enough lemon juice to make it a consistency you like. You can sprinkle on a little more lavender once you’ve glazed them.
If you enjoyed reading or know someone who might like to give these a try, please share this post! You might also enjoy the Maple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake that I originally created this dough for! You also might also like to try my Rosemary-Sesame Seed crackers and take them along on a summer picnic!