With the turn of the season into Spring, already I’m thinking of Summer Yummys, especially with the summer like weather we experienced a couple of weeks ago. Summer to me is citrus, and lemons are the epitome of citrus fruits in my opinion.
So this weekend I’ve been busy in the kitchen cooking up a storm of lemony treats to give me that summer feeling. I started making some lemon curd, because this was the basis for my baking plans; and essentially lemon curd is summer in a jar.
You will need:
1 large lemon
70g caster sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
50g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Start by zesting the lemon into a medium sized bowl.
I used a cuisipro grater designed for Parmesan and chocolate, but I find it zests really well. Once your lemon is zested, squeeze out the juice into the bowl through a sieve so any pips or mushy bits of lemon don’t reach the bowl. Take away the sieve and stir in your sugar until it’s dissolved.
I prefer to make my lemon curd by using a bowl over gently simmering water, but you can make it just in the pan if you want to. Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and add the egg mixture slowly stirring all the time until the mixture is well combined. Add the butter and stir it in. The butter will take a while to melt in, but keep gently stirring until it has melted fully.
Stir the mixture every now and then until the curd is thickened. Remove the bowl from the pan and allow the curd to cool, before adding it to a sterilised jar. This mixture makes enough for a jar.
Any citrus fruits will make a lovely curd so experiment with lime, orange, clementine or grapefruit.
I then made a batch of meringues for a Lemon Eton Mess.
You could just buy your meringues for this, but it’s much more fun to make your own I think. I made mine following a Delia recipe which you can find here http://www.deliaonline.com/how-to-cook/eggs/how-to-make-meringues.html. Instead of making larger ones, I prefer to make smaller ones for two reasons. They look cute, I can pick them out the cupboard to eat without feeling too guilty.but that could just be me! But making your own, you can get that lovely chewy centre, where as shop bought ones tend to be more crumbly, the choice is yours.
Lemon Eton Mess
The quantities below are per person, so if you wanted to make it for yourself you can, to make it for more people just multiply the recipe by the number of servings you want to make. If you want to be prepared, and make things ahead of time, just whip the cream and keep it in the fridge. Make your Eton Mess as late as possible because you don’t want your meringue pieces to go soggy. Soggy meringues are very sad.
You will need:
Around about 3 mini meringues per person, or one full sized meringue
2/3 tablespoons of double cream
1 tablespoon of lemon curd
Whip up your cream until peaks form in the cream. Crumble your meringue directly into the cream and give it s gentle stir. Find the dishes/glasses you want to serve your dessert in and add a small amount of the meringue mixture, layering with lemon curd, as much as desired, with as many layers as you want.
I like it as is, but you could add some chocolate curls to make it a bit more fancy.
And finally, it’s been a bumper blog this week! Lemon cupcakes, I used a basic cupcake recipe and piped some lemon curd into the middle of the cupcakes once they were cooled, using a thin nozzle, just a small squeeze in each one. For the frosting I used a basic buttercream icing, added a couple of spoonfulls of lemon curd, and some extra icing sugar.
Husband has been overwhelmed with lemony treats this weekend and as such has been a happy man.