My lemon tree needs harvesting. Big, fat ripe fruit fights for sunlight and nutrients with shiny green leaves and the tiny white buds of next year’s crop. Ten pounds or so will be juiced, frozen in yard sale ice-cube trays then stored in a big zip lock for future use, while many ten pound-plus bags will be given away to friends, neighbors and unsuspecting strangers…anything to move all those lemons from my yard to someone else’s hands.
I’m already tired of Lemon Meringue Pie, can’t eat more Lemon Cookies, and how much Lemon Drop Soup can one man consume? Which is why I latched onto this recipe when it came my way.
Meyer Lemon Custard Cakes
3/4C plus 2T sugar, divided use
1/4C all-purpose flour
1 1/3C whole milk
2 large eggs, separated
1/3C fresh Meyer lemon juice or regular lemon juice
2T freshly grated lemon zest
1, 8oz container chilled creme fraiche
Preheat your oven to 350. Butter eight 3/4C ramekins or custard cups. Whisk half cup plus 2T, flour, and pinch of salt in a medium bowl to blend. In a large bowl, combine egg yolks, lemon juice and zest, and whisk to combine. Add dry ingredients to wet, whisk to combine.
In a clean bowl, using an electric blender, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add the remaining 1/4C of sugar until stiff, but not dry. Fold 1/4C of the whites into custard. Fold the rest of the whites in two parts…the custard will be a bit runny.
Place the ramekins into a large roasting pan. Divide the custard mix evenly among the ramekins. Slowly add enough hot water into the roasting pan to come half way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until golden brown and set on top…the cakes will be slightly soft in the center, about 27 minutes. Chill at least 4 hours, uncovered, then cover and keep refrigerated.
To serve, run a small sharp knife around each custard cake to loosen. Invert onto a plate and garnish with a dollop of creme fraiche.
Recipe, courtesy Josie Le Balch
Photo, courtesy me.
Kent McDonald is a Certified Personal Chef, living and working in Phoenix, AZ. (c) All rights reserved, 2001