I’m tempted to describe Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm in upcountry Maui as one of those places time forgot, but that’s not entirely accurate. Rather, this well-designed and -constructed floral farm presents so many wondrous specimens side by side that it feels like old magic.
I can barely name one type of lavender without cheating, but Ali’i Kula seems to boast them all: from Hidcote to Graves to Munstead to Melissa (hey, girl!). I would have stuffed my pockets full of the buds if I weren’t worried about agricultural inspection upon arriving home on Oahu.
I did snag some edible lavender before flying back and proceeded to use it in about everything for the next two weeks. By far the victor of my experimentation is this Maui Lavender Scone, lightly sweet and fragrant and moist with a little bit of that old Maui baked right inside. I find when cooking or baking with lavender the most important lesson is balance—you don’t want to serve anything that tastes like soap, and if a little goes a long way, you must make sure that this is the long way back to Kula or wherever the lavender came from.
I want to taste the magic.
- 2 cups flour
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ scant cup sugar
- 2½ tsp edible lavender
- zest of one lemon
- ½ cup butter, diced and chilled
- 1 cup cream
- 1 egg, for wash
- turbinado or coarse sugar, for sanding
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, lavender buds, and zest. In a separate, larger bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk sugar mixture into dry ingredients.
- Using your fingers, a fork, or a pastry cutter, cut chunks of butter into flour mixture, making sure to coat with your fingers.
- Make a well in the center of the flour and butter mixture and mix in cream with a spatula. Do not overmix.
- Form scones by dropping dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet or by turning onto a floured work surface, lightly kneading, and cutting into desired shapes.
- In the cup used for cream, whisk together egg with 1 tsp water. Brush tops of scones with wash and dust with sanding sugar.
- Bake for 15-16 minutes, until scones are golden brown. Serve immediately.