I am obsessed with raspberry and lavender. It didn’t just start with my visit to Greysmarsh Farm, a raspberry/lavender farm in Sequim, WA this summer. But that visit certainly helped. Out of all the farms I toured for my Real Food project, this is the one place where I didn’t do any interviewing or even carry along my trusty reporter’s notebook. All I wanted to do was just sit down and inhale deeply. Wouldn’t you want to do the same in this field of lavender?
Now imagine rows upon rows upon rows of raspberries just like this one, waiting for you to pick them:
You see where I’m going with this?
I’ll eat raspberries just about any time of the day. But of my struggles has been trying to figure out how to incorporate lavender into cooking. You want to capture that flavor but you don’t want to spit out little buds or leaves all evening. So here’s a great trick I learned for baking desserts with lavender: You take a bunch of dried lavender buds, mix them with granulated sugar, and store the whole thing in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days. Shake occasionally. Then when you’re ready to use it, open it up, sift out the lavender buds, and you have an amazing lavender-scented sugar. That’s pretty much the secret to this tasty pie.
Also, fresh raspberries are key. If you don’t live next door to a raspberry farm (Note to self: Buy home next door to raspberry farm), go to your freshest produce vendor and use the raspberries as soon as possible. (Preferably on the same day.)
Raspberry Lavender Pie
A raspberry lavender pie, inspired by a summer trip to a raspberry lavender farm.
- 2 9-inch prepared unbaked pie crusts, chilled
- 3/4 cup lavender sugar (see note)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 cups fresh raspberries
Place one of the pie crusts into a 9-inch pie pan. Chill the crust while making the pie filling.
In a large bowl, combine the lavender sugar and flour. Add the raspberries and gently stir until the flour-sugar mixture is coating the raspberries (do not over-stir). Pour the raspberry filling into the chilled pie crust.
Remove the second pie crust mound from the refrigerator, unwrap it, and let it sit for five minutes before rolling it out and placing it over the pie in your favorite style (lattice, cut-out leaves, etc.). Brush the top and any pieces you need to seal with egg yolk.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. While the oven heats, put the assembled pie in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. When the pie is chilled and the oven is fully heated, put the pie on the bottom shelf of the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove the pie from the oven, cover the edges of the crust with foil, return the pie to the oven, and bake for an additional 35 to 40 minutes.
To make lavender sugar, add 2 T. dried lavender buds (you can find them in the spice aisle of well-stocked or gourmet grocery stores) to 2 cups sugar. Mix well, store in an airtight container for 2 days. When you are ready to use the sugar, sift out the lavender buds.
For this particular pie, I created a road/track/car/train motif for the KCRW pie contest. (The theme was “Metropolis” in honor of a popular exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.) I called it Raspberry/Lavender “Traffic” Jam Pie. (Get it? Traffic jam?) Here’s a sign that it was a hit: At the end of pie day, there was not a single morsel left in the pie pan. I guess I’m not the only one who just can’t get enough raspberry and lavender. Maybe it’s time to buy that house next to a lavender farm after all.
P.S. Want a really pretty pie? Here you can learn how to make a great lattice top pie crust.
P.P.S. Want more pie? Here’s our great pie roundup.