1 ½ cups milk

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon gelatin

1 ½ cups heavy cream

¾ cup sugar

1 vanilla bean

2 ¼ cups water

2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 drops red food coloring

2 drops blue food coloring

1 pound strawberries, diced

 

Measure ½ cup of the milk into a small bowl and slowly sprinkle over 2 ½ teaspoons of the gelatin. Combine the remaining 1 cup of milk, cream, and ¼ cup of the sugar in a small saucepan. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and add both the pod and the seeds to the pan. Heat to a bare simmer. Whisk in the gelatin mixture and discard the vanilla bean. Chill over an ice bath until just beginning to thicken. Divide among 6 dessert cups. Refrigerate for about an hour, or until set.

 

Measure ¾ cup of the water into a small bowl and slowly sprinkle over the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of gelatin. Combine the remaining 1 ½ cups of water, remaining ½ cup of sugar, and lavender in a small saucepan. Heat to a simmer. Whisk in the gelatin mixture, lemon juice, and food coloring and strain through a fine mesh sieve. Chill over an ice bath until just beginning to thicken. Transfer to a 9-inch square cake pan. Refrigerate for about an hour, or until set.

 

Divide the strawberries among the dessert cups. Dip the bottom of the cake pan with the lavender gelée into hot water for a few seconds, wipe dry, and invert onto a cutting board. Dice the gelée and divide among the dessert cups. Serve immediately.

 

Makes 6 generous servings. Feel free to add sugar to taste to the strawberries if they aren’t very sweet.