July 10, 2008

When You Have Lemons...

You make lemonade, lemon curd, lemon cookies, cake, pie, lemon,lemon,lemon...love the sweet, tart, tangy, zest of lemon.

One of my favorites - Lemon Curd
Lemon curd is a creamy custard type dessert made with eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and butter. It can be used on or in cakes, tortes, cream puffs, as a topping for angel food cakes, short breads or muffins or as a spread on bread or toast.

Here's the recipe I use (from Alton Brown,Good Eats,Food Network):
Lemon Curd
5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
4 lemons, zested and juiced
1 stick butter, cut into pats and chilled
Add enough water to a medium saucepan to come about 1-inch up the side. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Meanwhile, combine egg yolks and sugar in a medium size metal bowl and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute.
Measure citrus juice and if needed, add enough cold water to reach 1/3 cup.
Add juice and zest to egg mixture and whisk till smooth.
Once water reaches a simmer, reduce heat to low and place bowl on top of saucepan. (Bowl should be large enough to fit on top of saucepan without touching the water.) Whisk until thickened, approximately 8 minutes, or until mixture is light yellow and coats the back of a spoon.
Remove promptly from heat and stir in butter a piece at a time, allowing each addition to melt before adding the next.
Remove to a clean container and cover by laying a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Tips on Lemons
1 medium lemon yields 2-3 tablespoons juice and 2-3 teaspoons zest
Room-temperature lemons or limes will yield more juice than those that are refrigerated.
Use your palm to roll lemon or lime around on the countertop a few times before squeezing.

You gotta try this one!

Lemon Zest Chevre Cream
1 cup Chevre cheese
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 squeeze of lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Sugar to taste or 2 packages sugar substitute

Combine all ingredients, mix well. Place in individual serving dishes. Put in refrigerator. Makes 2 servings

A couple more recipes I have collected to try:

Seven-Day Preserved Lemons
2 ripe lemons
1/3 cup coarse (kosher) salt
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Olive Oil
Scrub the lemons and dry well. Cut each into 8 wedges. Toss them with the salt and place in a 1/2-pint glass jar with a glass or plastic-coated lid. Pour in the lemon juice. Close the jar tightly and let the lemons ripen at room temperature for 7 days, shaking the jar each day to distribute the salt and juice. To store, add olive oil to cover and refrigerate for up to 6 months

Goat Cheesecake with Fresh Lemon Curd & Berries
Recipe Source: EMERIL LIVE with Emeril Lagasse from the TV FOOD NETWORK
1 TB butter; plus
4 TB butter; melted
1 c graham cracker crumbs
2 LB cream cheese; room temperature
1½ c sour cream
12 oz goat cheese; room temperature
2 c sugar
2 eggs
1 TB pure vanilla extract
1 juice of one lime
2 TB grand Marnier
2 c macerated berries; for serving
1 === fresh lemon curd ===
1 c fresh lemon juice; about 16 lemons
¾ c sugar
8 egg yolks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with the tablespoon of butter. In a small mixing bowl, combine the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs together. Press the crust into the bottom of the prepared pan. In an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Beat in 1-cup sour cream, goat’s cheese, and sugar. Beat until the mixture is smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla and lime juice and continue to beat until the batter is fully incorporated and smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for about 1 1/2 hours or until the center is set. For the fresh lemon curd: In a double boiler, over medium heat, whisk all the ingredients together. Cook the sauce until thick, about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and cool. Makes about 1 1/2 to 2 cups. Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Run a knife around the sides of the pan and remove the cake from the springform. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining sour cream and Grand Marnier. Spread the mixture over the top of the cake. Using a hot knife, slice the cake into 16 slices, wiping the knife after each cut. Serve the cake with the lemon curd and macerated berries. This recipe yields 16 servings.

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