Organic Meyer Lemon Curd Recipe

Organic Meyer Lemon Curd

 

I love winter in Southern California.  The weather changes (it’s 78 degrees right now instead of 101 degrees) and the citrus trees are loaded with fruit.  I am lucky to have two Meyer lemon trees in my front yard, and those little trees produce an abundance of fruit. Twice a year actually.  I love those trees. They are only about 6 feet tall, but give me pounds and pound of lemons each year.

Meyer Lemon Tree
Meyer Lemon Tree

A Meyer lemon is a cross between a lemon and an orange, and originated in China.  When you smell them they are redolent of flowers and honey.  Their color when fully ripe is almost golden, like a sunset.  The skin is very thin, and while the flesh is tart, it is more sweet than a regular lemon.  As a child I used to pick them right off the tree and eat them while sitting on my front porch.  Now my toddler does the same.

There is a multitude of things you can do with the Meyer lemon.  The Los Angeles Times published a great article a couple of years ago called “100 things to do with a Meyer lemon.” I haven’t done them all, but I’m working on it!  One of my favorite things to do with my lemons is make lemon curd.  The flavor of Meyer lemon curd is so sublime, so intoxicating, so delectable. The best thing is that it’s easy to make, and is a wonderful gift to give to friends.

Organic Meyer Lemons
Organic Meyer Lemons

Organic Meyer Lemon Curd

Ingredients:

8 large egg yolks

4 large eggs

1 cup of sugar

1 cup organic Meyer lemon juice

1 stick (8 TB) cold butter, cut into small pieces

Directions:

Fill a medium saucepan or double boiler about 1/3 – 1/2 full with water.  Bring the water to a boil, then lower to a simmer.  Have a large bowl of ice water ready to cool the curd.

While the water is coming to a boil, whisk the yolks, eggs, sugar and lemon juice in a metal bowl large enough to sit on the saucepan without falling in. Place the bowl over the simmering water, making sure the bottom doesn’t touch the water.  Whisking frequently, cook the mixture until thick, about 10 minutes.  If the mixture seems to be cooking too quickly, remove the bowl from the saucepan and whisk briskly, then return to the saucepan.  Remember, you are working with eggs, so if it gets too hot you will make lemon scrambled eggs!

When the curd is thickened, place the bowl in the waiting bowl of ice water.  Whisk in a few small pieces of butter at a time, waiting until they have melted until adding more.  Strain the curd through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl.  Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin.  Refrigerate until completely cool.

I have been known to eat it my the spoonful, but drizzling it over pound cake, berries, or using it as a cake filing are all great ideas.  But I do recommend eating it by the spoonful…

Cheryl D Lee on Foodista

Recipe for the Best Pound Cake Ever

Organic Meyer lemons from my tree
Organic Meyer lemons from my tree

Some may disagree with my rather opinionated title, but this really is a special pound cake.  I grew up eating this cake (and have the hips to prove it) and I have not tasted a more scrumptious pound cake.

Many years ago in Louisiana this pound cake recipe was handed down to my mother Vera Lee by her cousin Zephyr Stephens.  And years before it had been handed down to Zephyr.  And now it is mine.

Growing up in Pasadena, CA everyone had some sort of fruit tree in their yard.  We have Meyer lemons, so that is what I use to make the glaze for the cake.  Because Meyer lemons are sweeter and more floral than other lemons, it really makes a difference in the flavor of the cake.

The cake is called “Millionaires Pound Cake” and you can find variations on many recipe websites.  The common link seems to be that the recipe was passed down from one generation to the next.  If anyone knows the exact origin of the recipe I would love to know.

Best Pound Cake Ever

1  lb butter, room temperature

3 cups sugar

6 large eggs, room temperature

4 cups cake flour, sifted

3/4 cup milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp lemon extract

Glaze

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (any fresh lemon juice will work)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter and flour 16 cup angel food/pound cake style pan.

In electric mixer cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, beat until incorporated.  Add flour and milk alternately, ending with the flour.  Add extracts, beat well, making sure to scrape down bowl as needed.

Pour batter into prepared pan, bake for 1 1/2 hours until pick inserted in cake comes out clean.  Cool in pan on rack for 30 minutes, then remove cake from pan.

Mix glaze ingredients and pour over the cake while still hot.

Let the cake cool (slightly at least) then devour.  And you will devour it…

Cheryl D Lee on Foodista

Banana Split Pie with Chocolate-Rum Sauce Recipe

Banana Split Pie
Banana Split Pie

I really enjoy dessert, but don’t always want to put in the effort of making it.  Which is good, because with my inherited sweet tooth (thanks mom) I’d be big as a house!  I actually do like to bake, but for the previously mentioned reason, won’t do it very often.  But this easy to make dessert is an exception, and a show stopper at the same time.

The Banana Split is an American classic; rich vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream topped with ripe banana, hot fudge or chocolate sauce, crushed pineapple or pineapple ice cream topping, whipped cream, wet walnuts and maraschino cherries.  Yeah baby!  After eating one of those you usually went into a sugar coma, but it was worth it.  I’ve taken the basic idea of that banana split and turned it into a pie.

Banana Split Pie still life
Banana Split Pie still life

Banana Split Pie

2 cups Nilla Wafer cookie crumbs

6 TB melted butter

1 pkg (5.1 oz) Jello Vanilla Instant Pudding

4 cups heavy cream, divided

2 ripe bananas, sliced

1 jar (16 oz) Mrs. Richardson’s Hot Fudge Sauce

3 TB dark rum

1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple

sliced almonds for garnish (I’m not a huge walnut fan, so I used almonds instead)

Maraschino cherries for garnish

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In 10″ pie pan, mix cookie crumbs and melted butter until all crumbs are moistened.  Press the crumbs into and up the sides of the pan to form crust.  Bake for 10 minutes in the oven to set the crust.  Let the crust cool completely on a wire rack.

In a medium bowl mix the instant pudding and 3 cups of heavy cream.  Stir in the banana slices, set aside.

Adding sliced bananas to custard
Adding sliced bananas to custard

In small bowl, stir together the hot fudge and rum, until well mixed.

Chocolate-Rum sauce
Chocolate-Rum sauce

Spread half of the banana filling into the cooled crust.  Pour half of the rum sauce over filling, and gently spread fudge sauce to the edges.  Spread remaining banana filling on top of fudge sauce, then repeat with remaining fudge sauce.  Place pie into refrigerator to chill and set for at least one hour.

Banana filling in baked crust
Banana filling in baked crust
Chocolate-Rum sauce spread on banana custard
Chocolate-Rum sauce spread on banana custard

Drain the can of crushed pineapple well, then top the chilled pie with a layer of pineapple.

Crushed pineapple layer
Crushed pineapple layer

Whip the remaining cup of cream into soft peaks with a whisk or electric mixer. Do not add any sugar to sweeten the cream, as there is more than enough sweetness to this pie already.

Whipped cream with soft peaks
Whipped cream with soft peaks

Spread or pipe the whipped cream over the top of the pie.  Garnish the pie with sliced almonds and cherries.

Banana Split Pie
Banana Split Pie

Although there are a lot of assembly steps to this pie, it really comes together easily.  The richness of the heavy cream almost makes the instant pudding taste like you slaved over the stove and made a cooked custard.  And no one has to know but you…

Cheryl D Lee on Foodista

Sweet and Savory Avocado Ice Cream

Avocado Ice Cream
Avocado Ice Cream

Avocado ice cream? Really?  An avocado is a fruit, so why not.  There is no written rule that says ice cream has to be sweet all the time, so why not try a more savory ice cream?

This idea came to me while tweeting with a fellow food writer, Erika Kerekes http://inerikaskitchen.blogspot.com/ about the overabundance of avocados from her tree.  She asked for a recipe, so I decided there was no time like the present to develop one.  We are in avocado season, so they are plentiful and easy to find.

This recipe is easy to make, although you will need an ice cream maker.  These days, many companies manufacture ice cream makers, which means the price is within reach of most people. I use a Cuisinart, which requires you to freeze the insert for about 24 hours before making the ice cream. Be sure to follow the instructions for your machine.

As you can see from the picture it looks like you’re are eating a big bowl of guacamole with a spoon ( not the there is anything wrong with that!), but the ice cream is rich and creamy, with a subtle hint of spice.

Avocado Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup milk

6 egg yolks

3/4 cup + 1 TB granulated sugar, divided

pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 ripe avocados

2 oz lemon juice

1/2 tsp ancho chile powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Over medium heat, scald cream and milk.  Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk together yolks, 3/4 cup of sugar, salt and vanilla until light and creamy.  Add small amount of hot cream to yolks, whisking quickly to temper the egg mixture.  Gradually whisk in remaining cream.  Place mixture over water bath, whisking constantly, until mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from water bath, place bowl immediately into ice bath. Stirring occasionally, cool mixture, then strain into another bowl.  Cover and chill for at least one hour.  This can be made up to two days ahead.

While custard is cooling, scoop the flesh of the avocados into food processor or blender. Add remaining 1 TB of sugar, lemon juice, ancho chile powder and cinnamon.  Process until very smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.  Place avocado mixture in refrigerator to chill along with the custard.

When ready to make the ice cream, stir the avocado and custard together, until well blended.  Following the instructions for your ice cream maker, freeze the ice cream.

The ice cream will be a soft serve consistensy when it comes out of the machine, so if desired place ice cream into freezer safe container and freeze for another hour or two.

Try it with a churro, or make your own cinnamon-sugar tortilla chips.

Enjoy!

Cheryl D Lee on Foodista