Silver-washed fritillary butterfly on the oregano.
Silver-washed fritillary butterfly on the oregano.



Besides pepper and dill plants, a beautiful and aromatic flower has endured from early spring to the beginning of fall: lavender. For most of the year, it has simply been living in my garden, looking pretty and working as a pollinator. However, this week I decided to use it to make something that I’ve never heard of before: grape and lavender sorbet.


It was grown from a seedling, contrary to my Poblano pepper plants (if you want to read about what I made with those, check out “Growing—and Cooking—Better Peppers on the SIREN), though from one look at them, anyone can see the abundance of growth between these two plants hardly differs for what they are. The lavender blossomed into quite a successful, redolent flower (actually, lavender is a part of the mint family, called Lamiaceae, but often its violet flowers are what it’s known for!)





What this recipe included appeared simple at first, as there are technically only four ingredients. The way you must put the ingredients together is what makes this intricate. It’s a frozen combination of lavender syrup and grape purée, given its smooth texture from being made in an ice cream maker (which I conveniently happened to already have.)


Here’s a brief preview of the steps making this recipe would entail:


  • Harvesting lavender leaves 


  • Boiling water and sugar


  • Allowing the lavender leaves to steep in the heated sugar water


  • Blending and filtering grapes into a purée 


  • Combining and allowing the mixture to churn in an ice cream maker


Approximately, making this took about four hours, though most of it was waiting. 


The first thing I did was go out to my garden and pick a few stems with lavender leaves on it. You don’t need more than two tablespoons worth. A little goes a long way. 


Harvested lavender leaves and Koda (Makenna Cable)


I gently picked off and cleaned the leaves before setting them aside and moving on to the sugar and water. Half a cup of sugar got dissolved in half a cup of water, which had to be brought to a boil. Once it was hot enough, I took the heat off the syrup and added in the lavender leaves. It was to steep for 10 minutes. 



Lavender syrup (Makenna Cable)


While I waited for the lavender syrup, I started on the grape purée. I couldn’t find my blender, so I had to improvise and use a food processor. After blending for a few minutes, I strained it through the fine sifter. 


I’ll be honest—this grape purée did not appear pleasant. It was a purplish brown (I assume this is either because I used a food processor or because I used red grapes instead of the suggested type: concord grapes), so I attempted to save it with food coloring. I had no red coloring, so I went with blue, figuring it was the next best thing.


It helped…a bit.


Once the lavender syrup was finished chilling, it was time to combine the two mixtures. I whisked them together and let them continue to chill for a while.


The final step was to churn the mixture in an ice cream machine. I wasn’t sure how this was going to work since there was so little of the sorbet base, but nonetheless, I was willing to try.


Ice cream maker (Makenna Cable)



The sorbet mixture churned for a little under an hour before I took it out, though it definitely should’ve been left in longer. It appeared finished, though the bottom parts of it were liquidy and I wasn’t able to put it back in. 


I put it in the freezer for a few minutes, as it was the best I could do to save it. After forcing my sister to try it with me, we both concluded that I put in too much lavender (one of us more bluntly than the other). It tasted less like grape sorbet with lavender essence and more like grape sorbet with a few pumps of lavender body soap. 


So, here’s a few things I would’ve found useful to know before I started:


  • Just a little too much lavender can take anything straight from elegant treat to soap.


  • Patience with the churning process is key.


I wouldn’t necessarily call this a complete fail, as it still tasted moderately okay, save for the extremely bold presence of lavender. This would’ve gone much better with more precision on my part. 


Finished Sorbet (Makenna Cable)


Overall, I would rate my botched rendition of this sorbet a 4/10.


Despite my hindrances, I definitely want to give this a second go with what I learned! 

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About the Contributor
Makenna Cable, STAFF WRITER
Makenna Cable is a current junior writing and publishing major who is a new staff writer on The SIREN. She loves spending her time in nature which gave her inspiration for her gardening and baking column, Blooming Bakery. Some of her other loves include her cattle dog, Koda, going on walks and listening to music.

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