Food Buzz


Thursday, March 3, 2011

What?! You've never had a Meyer lemon?

I saw gorgeous Meyer lemons at the farmers market this past week and knew I had to use them to make something amazing in honor of my mom's visit all the way from freezing cold NY -- I wanted to give her a little bit of LA sunshine.  Little did I know just how much sunshine she would need while she was here.  Between the snowflakes falling in Studio City and the nasty cold bug going around, I realized it would take a very special dessert (made with mom's favorite ingredient) to bring her some warmth.  Stuck on what delicious Meyer lemon-y dessert to make, I of course asked the "twitterverse" and my favorite bloggers for help.

Luckily @squirellbread came through - Heather provided me with the first recipe idea and I loved it because I would be going outside my usual comfort zone of plain old cookies or cakes.  This recipe would require I make lemon curd...from scratch.  Never did it before and will definitely do it again!

Meyer Lemon Kisses
makes 14-16 kisses

For the kisses:
2 eggs
1/4 c superfine sugar
zest of 1 Meyer lemon
1/4 c AP flour
1/2 t baking powder
additional sugar, to sprinkle*

7 fl oz heavy whipping cream

Meyer Lemon Curd (recipe below)
For the Meyer lemon curd:
3/4 c granulated sugar
1 1/2 T cornstarch
1/2 c water
1/2 c freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
2 egg yolks, room temperature
zest of 2 Meyer lemons
1 1/2 oz butter, cubed

For the Kisses:

Preheat oven to 375° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk the eggs and sugar with an electric hand or stand mixer on high until the mixture resembles a thick stable foam and a mark from a spoon dragged through the middle doesn’t disappear [mine took fifteen minutes]. Add the lemon zest and continue beating until well combined. Sift in the flour and baking powder and very gently fold the flour in with a large spoon.

Gently drop tablespoonfuls of mixture onto the lined baking sheets to form approximately 28-32 even sized rounds, leaving some room for spreading. Sprinkle the tops with a little sugar (*I used sparkling sugar for a little crunch, but you can use what you have on hand).

Bake for 6-8 minutes or until light golden and spring back with a light touch. Remove to a rack covered with clean dry paper towels and allow to cool.

Whip the cream and combine with a couple tablespoons of lemon curd to taste.

A few minutes before serving place two of the halves together with a spoonful of the lemon curd-flavored cream and a little extra lemon curd.

For the Meyer lemon curd:

Add enough water to a medium saucepan to come about 1 up the side. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, combine sugar, cornstarch, water, juice and yolks in a medium size metal bowl and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. 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 and slightly in the saucepan without touching the water.] Stir mixture until all the sugar has dissolved. Continue to heat gently until the mixture has thickened somewhat. (this step took me a while because my bowl was resting just on top of the pot... it's important to get your curd to reach 160 degrees in order to cook the eggs safely, so do check the temperature occasionally.)

Remove from the heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Whisk in the lemon zest and butter cubes, and continue to cook in the bowl until a fairly thick consistency has been reached.

Pour into a plastic container and use as required above. Extra lemon curd keeps well in a tightly sealed container up to two weeks in the refrigerator. It will keep even longer in the freezer, and bonus: it doesn’t freeze solid, so you can scoop out what you want, when you want!

They came out really good - however, I realized that the cookies should be eaten soon after making them, as I transported mine in layers of parchment in a plastic container and they got too soft.  I would prefer my cookies to be a little more stiff to hold up to the whipped cream and curd filling.  Next time I will cook them a minute or two longer for more crunch and if I must, eat them immediately. :)

My curd did not get as thick as I wanted. It was less the consistency of lemon pudding and more like a lemon sauce.  But since it wasn't going into a lemon meringue pie, I didn't care. AND it tasted really delicious.  Meyer lemons have the flavor of a regular lemon mixed with an orange - a little sweeter flavor, a softer skin and very juicy.  Using a Meyer lemon instead of a conventional lemon meant tangy lemon goodness with a sweet edge. The curd that I have left will taste great over pound cake, ice cream or just by itself!  The Meyer lemont just screams summer, which is a lovely thing to "hear" in the winter, even in LA.  I think mom can attest to this.

What are some of your favorite uses for lemon?  Please share with me!

Chow for now! :)

1 comment:

  1. I am *thrilled* you made and enjoyed my recipe suggestion! I made a huge batch for my birthday a couple years back, and I'm sure you can understand now why they flew off the platters so quickly. A departure from the usual, but in a very, very good way!