Posts tagged ‘lemon’

June 26, 2013

Lemon Head

Summer’s sultry sunbeams have arrived! And with them, the delightful delirium you fall into while trying to keep yourself cool by standing in front of an open fridge with a washcloth plastered to your forehead. In this case, it was a perfectly pleasant way to fight off the fever and keep a cloyingly close eye on my Lemon Basil tarts chilling to completion.

What!? I have strayed away from my beloved Frozen Key Lime pie to abate the humid hot pocket my apartment has become?

Yes, it must have been the heat that bamboozled me into doing some edible experimentation. I’d say it was a scientific sensation!

 

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Something about how June makes everything blossom with vibrance and the beginning of another sweltering season, made me want to make something bright and crisp. Lemon and Basil are two ingredients that, when married together, become a most refreshing flavor fusion, very appropriate.

Something else about June, it makes me want to put Jim Beam in my coffee, sit on the fire escape and take it real easy-like. You win, June!

 

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The recipe I used was, well, let’s just call it minimalistic, so it was a fly by the seat of your pants kind of thing. I added some helpful tips and confidence boosters (drink whiskey while baking) to get you through this tasty task.

First, make the graham cracker crust, which you can find in the post for Frozen Key Lime Pie below. Simple, bake in tart shell for 10 minutes and set aside for later assembly.

 

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Lemon Basil Custard

1/2 Cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 Cup heavy cream

2 Eggs

2 Egg Yolks

3/4 Cup fresh lemon juice, strained

3/4 Cup granulated sugar

1 Cup whole fresh basil leaves, cleaned

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a double boiler (I use a regular medium sized pot of simmering water and fit a large bowl on top to create the same effect.) Combine all ingredients into the large bowl, sounds weird but it is just fine. Take a shot of whiskey and whisk mixture continuously until mixture is heated through to prevent eggs from curdling. Continue to cook over double boiler, whisking every few minutes. Cook until mixture reaches a custard like consistency (coats the back of a spoon), for about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer, this will catch the basil leaves, into a clean bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.

Phew! You did it! Take another shot you master chef!

Place cooled tart shell on a baking sheet and fill with custard. Bake until custard sets, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before handling. Place them into Fridge and let those lemon babies cool down, eat, and enjoy!

The recipe I used was adapted from:

http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipes/lemon-basil-tart/recipe.html?dishId=4500

Damn Canadians!

Happy Baking!

April 16, 2013

Check out the Bundt on that one!

What a shy Spring this one has been! After suffering through the monotonous months of the new year, this bashful beauty has blossomed and with it the preferred climate for baking and beering!

My unused, unspoiled, window wearing new kitchen has been crying out for this dawdling domestic to get her act together and use the pearly white appliances. I could feel the bored bowls, sleepy spoons, and distressed drawer of baking equipment getting more annoyed with each dessert-less day.

I suppose it was the lazy way Spring lingered in, but once that pleasant April air breezed through, and that sparkling new Bundt pan peeked out of the cupboard, I knew it was time.

How could I have denied myself this lemon laced lady killer?

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After perusing the produce section and finding lemons 6 for a dollar, it was settled. Also, there is something very sophisticated and proper about a sculptured citrus cake in the Springtime. I would imagine one wearing ivory gloves while delicately dishing out this dessert, and enjoying with tiny lustrous utensils.

 

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Look how beautifully these citrus sisters go together, a match made in lemon heaven.

However, I do have to admit that perhaps this was not the most elegant aperitif to dance alongside the bold Bundt. For this one it did not matter what was in the glass, but simply what was painted onto its svelte body.

 

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Plus, how could I have added beer to the apricot glaze for that added hop and dark caramel color?

This was a delightfully easy recipe which resulted in simple, delicious and bright flavors perfect for welcoming the sun back on the streets.

Classic Lemon Bundt

2 Sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups AP Flour
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
2 tsp. Salt
2 1/2 Cups Sugar
Finely grated zest of 6 lemons
4 Extra Large Eggs
1 Cup Buttermilk (Full fat, there is already 2 sticks of butter in here)
Apricot Glaze
3/4 Cup apricot preserves
1/4 Cup fresh lemon juice
Some splashes of beer if that sounds like a good idea at the time.

Cake:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Spray 12″ Bundt pan with non-stick baking spray (unless you were lucky enough to get a NordicWear nonstick Bundt pan for your birthday, then don’t even worry!) Whisk baking powder, salt, and flour in a medium bowl.

Combine sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl, using your fingers, rub together until lemon sugar is well blended. Much like a sandy beach feel here.

Add softened butter to lemon sugar mixture. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula, until mixture is light and very fluffy.

With the speed on low add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.

Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan.

Bake cake until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean, about an hour. Let cake cool for ten minutes and flip over and release onto a cutting board or fancy plate.

For the glaze:

Combine preserves and lemon juice in a small saucepan (I added a couple splashes of my second beer here). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until glaze is reduced to 1/2 cup, 6-8 minutes. Strain glaze into a small pitcher. Pour that all over your beautiful bodacious cake!

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2013/03/lemon-buttermilk-bundt-cake

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May 30, 2012

Mes beautés de citron!

It is of the most opportune occasion for a group game of croquet!

If I had it my way, I would be upstate enjoying a few rounds with my dear friends and picnicking in the lawn. The weather is spectacular for an early afternoon sit down with a sweating pitcher of luminous lemonade and a mosaic of effervescent edibles.

It is often hard to make an ethereal, bright, and appropriate cake for the summer months, unless of course you have decided after all these years to treat yourself to that exact confection.

That is correct!  I finally got the coveted pan and have begun my endeavor into the magical world of the Madeleine! A somewhat soft and supple, citrusy cake that I have always admired.

That scallop shape is just dazzling!

Madeleine

So, it has been madness here trying to concoct the right recipe and interesting ingredients to enhance the gentle cake. I tried out some exciting extracts like earl grey, almond, lavender, and rosewater, always pairing them with either lemon or orange for that needed bite. Be creative, do what you think sounds delicious.

And always remember to pair with a light libation. Whether it be fresh iced tea, cold brewed coffee, or in my case raspberry lemonade with just a few splashes of gin.

In all seriousness, I made the decision to get the ingenious Madeleine pan, so that I can make Madeleines all day for my best friend, Frannie. Love you girl!

I’d say Frannie and I are like Gin and the Summertime; best friends for life.

Lemon Madeleine

3/4 Cup AP Flour

1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/4 tsp. Salt

1/2 Cup Sugar

1 Large Lemon, zested

2 Jumbo Eggs

2 tsp. Almond Extract

6 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled

Method

Put butter in small saucepan and melt under low heat. Set aside.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, using your fingers, mash together the zest and sugar. It is very reminiscent of the beach! After the zest and sugar have come together beat in the eggs one at a time. Whisk together for about 3 minutes. Add the almond extract (or whatever you decide to try out).

Using a spatula, fold in the dry ingredients. Once they are incorporated fold in the butter.

IMPORTANT!

These little guys like to chill out, so you need to put them in the fridge for at least an hour, three if you can stand it, and overnight if you drink too much gin and accidentally fall asleep (ideal).

After the great rest:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Butter your glorious Madeleine pan, fill 3/4 with batter and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden.

Makes 12

Yeah!

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