Lemon Bars start with a
delicious shortbread base that is covered with a lemony filling that
separates as it bakes; giving us a thin cake-like crust on top of a
tangy citrus-flavored sauce. more
Each individual Lemon Cheesecake
has a New York style cheesecake filling that is set in a graham
cracker crust and topped with a layer of lemon curd.
Lemon curd is a thick,
soft and creamy, spreadable cream that has a wonderful tart yet
sweet flavor. Traditionally it was used as a spread for scones but
today we also use it to fill our tarts, pies, cakes, and as part of
a trifle. more
Waverley Root in 'Food' tells of the Roman belief that eating a lemon is
the antidote for all poisons. more
This Strawberry and Lemon
Curd Trifle consists of a layer of buttery pound cake, followed by a
layer of strawberry sauce and fresh strawberries, then a layer of tangy
and smooth lemon curd, that is tempered by a layer of softly whipped
Lemon Curd Tart is a
delicious combination of a sweet and crisp pastry crust and a tangy
lemon curd. more
These Poppy Seed Muffins
have a texture and flavor that is quite similar to a pound cake. To give
them a little extra flavor and texture, I have added the zest of a lemon
and some crunchy poppy seeds. more
The top layer is a light and
airy sponge cake and underneath the cake is a deliciously tangy lemon
These Lemon Cupcakes have
a surprise inside, a small pocket of lemon curd. Its tangy sweetness
goes so well with the vanilla flavored cupcake and the lemon
flavored whipped cream frosting. more
Lemon Meringue Tart is a
delicious combination of a sweet pastry crust, lemon curd filling, and
airy meringue. more
Lemon Shortbread Bars combine a buttery crisp shortbread crust with
a deliciously tart and tangy lemon filling. Instantly recognizable
by their liberal coating of powdered sugar.
you think about it, lemons are the perfect fruit. Always
available, reasonably priced, consistent quality, long lasting, good
looking, outside as valuable as inside, enhances the ingredients it
comes in contact with, and is just as useful in cooking as it is in
baking. And if that weren't enough, its virtues within the
household are many. Margaret Visser in 'Much Depends on Dinner'
tells how it is used as a bleach, a cleaner for wood furniture and
silver, a remedy for sore throats, upset stomachs, asthma, and even
Women as far back as Louis XIV's court used to eat
lemons to freshen their breath and redden their lips.
Waverley Root in 'Food' tells of the Roman belief that eating a
lemon is the antidote for all poisons. He tells the story of how
two criminals were said to have been thrown to venomous snakes but how
the one criminal who had eaten a lemon beforehand survived the snake
Long before we knew that
lemons contained Vitamin C, sailors ate them on long sea voyages to
prevent scurvy. Christopher Columbus carried lemon seeds on his travels
to the New World and planted them when he stopped in Haiti. The
Portuguese are credited with bringing the lemon to Brazil (about 1540)
and the Spaniards for bringing it to Florida (about 1565). By the
1730s Spanish Friars had started to grow lemons in California and by the
1850s cultivation in California was widespread. In fact, California has
such perfect growing conditions that it now produces most of the lemons
sold in North America.
Unlike apples and
oranges, lemons are almost never labeled by variety. There are, in
fact, two popular commercial types; the Eureka and the Lisbon.
Producers probably don't bother labeling the varieties because they are
so similar in size, color, and acidity. The beauty of the lemon is
that its outer skin (rind) is just as valuable as its juice. The
skin contains the lemon's oils and perfumes and even before we had
graters, Elizabeth David's in "An Omelette and a Glass of Wine" said
that "one of the best lemon graters is lump sugar, although Hannah
Glasse (The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, 1747) directed her
readers to grate lemon skins with a piece of broken glass".
When buying lemons always keep in mind when you want the lemon's zest to
look for lemons that have a rough thick outer skin. These lemons
have lots of zest that is easier to remove than it is with thin skinned
No matter the time
of year lemon desserts are always welcome. They are just as
refreshing in the heat of summer as they are after a heavy winter's
meal. Here are a few of my favorite lemon desserts.
Elizabeth. An Omelette and a Glass of Wine. New York: Elisabeth
Sifton Books Viking, Viking Penguin Inc. First American Edition 1985.
Davidson, Alan and Knox, Charlotte. Fruit. New York: Simon &
The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford: Oxford University Press,
Harrison, S.G., Masefield, G.B., and Wallis, M. The Oxford Book of Food
Plants. London: Oxford University Press, 1969.
F. and Ornelas, Kriemhild Cone?/font>,
The Cambridge World History of Food. Cambridge, Cambridge
University Press, 2000.
Mariani, John F.
The Dictionary of American Food & Drink, New Haven and New York:
Ticknor & Fields, 1983.
Root, Waverley, Food. New York: A Fireside
Margaret, Much Depends on Dinner. New York: Grove Press, 1986.
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