La Di Da Lavender Cheddar Shortbread & Berry Parfaits
The (in)credible science
This recipe has two kinds of sugar (powdered and granulated sugar), so it's doubly important to choose organic sugar! Research shows that organic sugar can significantly increases important soil insects. Researchers found that after only 1-2 years after transitioning from conventional to organic practices, one important group of soil insects, saprophagous insects, increased by 234% in the organically managed sugarcane. Tropical systems are extremely reliant on saprophagous insects, those that break down decaying plants and animals, for their role in sustaining soil fertility. This is especially important for tropical cropping systems like sugarcane! By making this recipe with organic sugar, you can help support these critical soil insects.
Thanks to our friends at Rogue Creamery for sharing this recipe with us! It is a delicious dessert for summer days, or anytime you can find fresh organic berries!
- 1 c. unsalted butter
- ¾ c. + 1 tbsp. powdered organic sugar (divided)
- ½ tsp. each salt & freshly ground pepper
- 2 c. + 2 tbsp. flour (divided)
- 1 c. La Di Da Lavender Cheddar, finely shredded
- 3 tbsp. + 1 tsp. culinary lavender (divided)
- 1 c. organic sugar
- 6 c. fresh berries, cleaned
- 1 ½ c. whipping cream
- For the shortbread: use a stand mixer on medium speed combine butter and ¾ c. powdered sugar until combined. Add salt, pepper and ½ tsp. lavender and beat mixture on medium high for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add 2 c. flour and shredded cheese. Scrape down bowl and add up to 2 tbsp. more flour if dough does not come together. Form into a disc and wrap dough in plastic. Refrigerate 2 hours or up to 5 days.
- Meanwhile, prepare the simple syrup. In a small saucepan, combine 1 c. water, 1 c. sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves and add 3 tbsp. culinary lavender. Heat to boiling stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool. Strain through a fine sieve and refrigerate.*
- To assemble: Remove dough from refrigerator 15 minutes prior to rolling. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Macerate sliced, hulled strawberries and whole blue or marionberries in 4 tbsp. lavender syrup. Stir occasionally to infuse flavor.
- On a clean, floured surface, roll dough to 10” x 8” rectangle. Use a pizza cutter cut into 18 small rectangles. Gently transfer to parchment covered baking sheet. If desired, roll and cut scraps of dough into bite size “crunchy” bits for topping parfaits. Chill unbaked dough in freezer for 10 minutes before baking for 18 – 22 minutes until golden brown. Turn sheet 10 minutes into cooking for even browning. (If you made ‘crunchies,’ they cook more quickly.) Cool on wire rack.
- For the parfaits: Whip the cream on medium high speed until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1 tbsp. powdered sugar and whip to combine. Layer ½ c. lavender infused berries in 6 parfait cups or bowls. Top with 2 tbsp whipped cream and a sprinkling of shortbread “crunchies”. Top with fruit. Drizzle each parfait with 1 tbsp. berry syurp. Top with remaining whipped cream. Serve immediately with 2 shortbread cookies on the side.
*extra lavender syrup is great to sweeten iced tea, lemonade, or drizzled over ice cream.