crafts · food · lifestyle · shooting

When life hands you lemons…..

img_0514My mom loves anything lemon flavored.  So recently, when I found myself with a handful of lemons that were slowly petrifying on the kitchen counter and a rare late season glut of fresh eggs,  I was inspired to make a lemon dessert for Sunday supper.  Sundays are special in my house, because we all eat around the same table.  Supper often isn’t fancy, but it always includes dessert.  Sundays are the only days I make dessert as a rule.

So…what to do with a gazillion eggs?  The easiest, knee jerk reaction is almost always Angel Food cake, which gloriously uses up 11 egg whites.  But now I’m faced with what to do with all those leftover yolks?  Lemons and yolks yield lemon curd. That is how I found myself, unwittingly on a four week long lemon journey.

img_0523First up was the glorious Angel Food cake.  I admit, I don’t have a regular recipe.  Like most things I do I wing it or cobble recipes from Pinterest together.  Therefore I baked up the cake from Taste and Tell.  This cake baked up wonderfully.  Nice and high.  Light and fluffy.
I then scrabbled for a Lemon Curd recipe.  Again grabbing this one from Something Swanky yielded a wonderful curd.  Smooth, silky, buttery and tart.  Granted I took liberty with quantities, which is what led me down that lemon brick road I referred to earlier.

And because I like to make my life difficult, I randomly put together a French Meringue Frosting recipe similar to this one from  Cake Journal.  I also threw on some  toasted coconut because the bag I had in the drawer had accidentally ripped open and was spewing coconut every time I opened the drawer and I hate to waste ingredients.

For being a patched together creation this glorious cake, we’ll call it a Lemon Curd Filled Angel Food cake enrobed in French Meringue Frosting and dusted with Toasted Coconut, was superb!  Often when I make Sunday supper we snack on dessert well into Wednesday.  Not this week!  That sucker was gone by Monday morning coffee with dad.

But we are a long way from saying goodbye to that lemon curd.  At this point I probably had two quarts of the stuff  packed away in the back of the fridge.  So the next Sunday, as I was pondering what to make for dessert, I spied those jars hogging up precious shelf space in my fridge and knew I had to make something with it which lead me to another luscious recipe from King Arthur Flour for Braided Lemon Breadimg_0588This recipe yielded two very large braids which again were so delicious they were scarfed up long before the evening ended and one was sent home with my mother who I believe froze it in order to keep herself from consuming it all in one sitting.

This recipe also gifted me extra quantities of the cream cheese filling that I just could not stuff into those braids without having a disaster happen in the bottom of my convection oven.

The two weeks later I am again rummaging through the fridge looking for Sunday supper inspiration.  I spy not only a quart of lemon curd but also a quart of cream cheese filling and a quietly aging pate de bris leftover from a French Chocolate Silk Pieimg_0597 that myself told myself to make after I had accidentally left my slice of Perkin’s version of the pie in the fridge at my daughter’s apartment, three hours away.

Viola!  Lemon Swirl Cheesecake! Using the cheesecake recipe from Plain Chicken, I par baked the leftover pate de bris before adding in the cheesecake filling.  I had great intentions of incorporating the leftover cream cheese filling but I forgot. I also forgot to swirl in the lemon curd.  In true fashion, I spread a layer of the cream cheese filling on the top of the cooled cheesecake and topped it with a few dollops of the lemon curd and served it up like the boss I am letting everyone think that was my original serving intent.
This one went so fast I never even got a chance to snap a picture.

img_0691By now I’m getting really tired of juggling those jars of lemon curd and cream cheese filling out the way every time I need to grab the jug of milk.  So yesterday I was determined to make some room in the fridge.  I had Monday off, as usual, its a perfect day for baking anything yeast related as I’m usually home to babysit the proofing process.  This time I selected Lemon Sticky Rolls from  Dinner then Dessert.  I confess.  I used the dough recipe only from there.  I filled the rolls with softened butter, sugar, and the very last of my lemon curd.  Once they baked golden brown and cooled slightly I then frosted with my leftover cream cheese mixture from the lemon braid experience.  This recipe yielded two round cake pans of soft, yeasty, pillowy rolls that were immediately eaten by the hungry shooters I delivered them to on our back yard shooting range.  I felt it was a shame to not have someone enjoy them fresh, warm out of the oven – they agreed.

Now that I’ve cannibalized so many recipes from Pinterest, I heartily recommend every single one of the recipes I cited despite the fact that I loosely based my desserts on them.  Every component I gleaned from these recipes turned out fabulous.  My best advice would be to reign yourself in on the lemon curd and probably only make one batch at a time, scramble the rest of those yokes in your Monday morning omelet!

Do you have a favorite dessert recipe that DOESN’T contain lemon?  When you use a recipe from the internet do you follow it word for word or do you improvise like me?  How does it turn out?

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Enjoy your week!

George

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4 thoughts on “When life hands you lemons…..

  1. I tend to used the recipes as guidelines because I often don’t have a minor ingredient or there is something I don’t like. Recently I’ve been on a pumpkin kick but I’m too tired to whip up a pie, so the left over French bread has gone into pumpkin bread pudding.

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