Baking with herbs
April 13, 2020 10:51 AM   Subscribe

Recently I've been enjoying baking sweet recipes that combine herbs and fruit in unique and complementary ways. I have made rosemary, olive oil, and dark chocolate cake, and lemon thyme and strawberry shortbreads. I would be interested in finding more recipes from this genre. Recipes for savory baked goods using herbs would also be fine, but I'm primarily looking for ways to combine fruit and herbs. I have mint, thyme, basil, and parsley in my garden, but I'm open to others as well.
posted by unstrungharp to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Basil and balsamic vinegar are a classic combo with strawberries.
posted by cooker girl at 11:10 AM on April 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

I used to make a delicious cake with raisins and fresh rosemary. Any plain, dense cake recipe would be appropriate.
posted by HotToddy at 11:20 AM on April 13, 2020

I routinely put chopped fresh rosemary in cornbread.
posted by TORunner at 11:43 AM on April 13, 2020

Mint in everything chocolate. It's divine in brownies.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 11:59 AM on April 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

thyme rhubarb is a favorite, discovered via The Flavor Bible which is a book-long list of ingredients and flavors (alphabetical), cross referenced with flavors/spices/herbs they pair with, according to a long, long list of chef contributors.
posted by iiniisfree at 12:00 PM on April 13, 2020 [4 favorites]

This rosemary shortbread is a favorite!
posted by lovecrafty at 12:16 PM on April 13, 2020

I made a really delicious cheesecake once, where I used digestive biscuits with a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar added to the crust, then made a basil flavoured cheesecake, and topped it with a sweet strawberry sauce and some fresh strawberries. it was really nice!

I always use this recipe for my backdrop for cheesecake, and then just change whatever I want. It's a no-bake, I'm not partial to baked cheesecake textures!

these cookies don't have fruit but they were strange and herbal and delicious, with a ton of fresh mint in the dough. They would have been very good with some fruity icecream or even topped with a fruit icing instead of the chocolate and sugar. or maybe as a thumbprint cookie with raspberry jam? that sounds nice.
posted by euphoria066 at 12:27 PM on April 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

Do you have culinary lavender in your garden? People overlook it, but it's a really unique herbal/floral note. I love lavender on savory or salty things. Lavender on french fries is amazing. Lavender compound butter or lavender sugar are yummy too.

I like to sub lavender in recipes, but it's a floral note and it can overpower things. These two recipes are both good:
Sweet Lavender Scones
Lavender and Lemon Cookies
posted by 26.2 at 12:52 PM on April 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

I don't have a particular recipe but I seem to remember making a syrup many years ago that involved orange juice and bay leaf that was good and also unexpected to me.
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 2:42 PM on April 13, 2020

rosemary grape focaccia. lots of recipes online, this one looks fine.

The River Cottage books are on sale this week and you might want to grab this one.
posted by fingersandtoes at 4:04 PM on April 13, 2020

This lemon and thyme cake became my go-to for a while.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 4:36 PM on April 13, 2020

I just made these easy lime and basil cookies and they have the consistency of a snickerdoodle.
posted by knownassociate at 5:52 PM on April 13, 2020

I like rosemary and rhubarb as a combo too, but you have to go pretty light on the rosemary so it doesn't overpower.

Mango and mint is nice, or blueberry and mint. Strawberry & basil, as mentioned above. Most berries go well with basil.

A good way to combine fruit and herbs in my experience is by making simple syrups infused with both. You can then use them in cooking, or in cocktails (great with gin & tonic) or just mixed with sparkling water or soda water over ice.

Ice cream/sorbet with fruit & herb flavours is also great and limited only by your imagination.
posted by lollusc at 7:50 PM on April 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh and for infusing simple syrups, if you want to retain the freshness of the fruit flavour rather than getting a cooked flavour, make the syrup by pouring (a lot of) sugar over the fruit and herbs, and putting the whole thing in the fridge for a few days. Stir every time you think about it. After a few days the fruit will have release liquid and you'll have a very fresh tasting syrup.
posted by lollusc at 7:51 PM on April 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

Lemon olive oil cake. Add basil.

Basil lime sugar cookies.
posted by kathrynm at 10:27 AM on April 14, 2020

Blueberry lemon verbena pie
Blackberry thyme galette
Peach and mint are a match made in heaven, though I don't have a specific recipe to point to.
posted by carrioncomfort at 4:14 PM on April 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

Apologies if it's the same recipe as the rosemary shortbread linked above (it wouldn't let me see it without creating an account) but this rosemary and chocolate chunk olive oil shortbread, while admittedly not featuring fruit, is sweet and delicious. I've been thinking about it a lot this past week, for whatever reason.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 4:17 AM on April 15, 2020

I made a DELICIOUS strawberry bay leaf jam that would have been amazing in Linzer Cookies or any tea cake involving jam.

I think of apricot and thyme as a classic combo.

A real gonzo suggestion: I used to go to this Italian market stand where they had a ricotta cheesecake (sweet, lemony, pastry crust) with parsley in the filling. They only had it when the grandmother was in town (!) and before she came back from a year in Italy, we moved away. I am dying to know more about it / have a recipe but I can't find anything about it anywhere. You could try. It was so, so good.
posted by athirstforsalt at 5:01 AM on April 19, 2020

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