Desserts were always reserved for special occasions in my family and a lot of times it involved fruit. Back then, I'd wish for cake and cookies, preferably with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream to wash it all down. Now that I'm older, I like my desserts to be lighter and, you got it, preferably something with fruit. Funny how things work out.
With citrus season in full swing, I wanted to try something different for Valentine's Day this year. Set aside the chocolate and bring on the Meyer Lemons!
Meyer lemons are thought to be a cross between a lemon and an orange or mandarin. They're less acidic then their lemon counterpart with a nice floral finish. Our Meyer lemon tree finally produced this year, so I knew I had to take advantage of the opportunity to celebrate the beauty of this remarkable fruit.
I found this recipe in this month's Bon Appetit and loved the fact that the recipe was simple and straightforward. No fancy equipment needed and you can make this a week ahead of time.
I opted to use some Ginger Orange Cookies from the famous Wackym's Kitchen here in Dallas, TX (Be sure to say hello to Paul, he always sports the coolest hats!). It paired perfectly with the Meyer Lemon Cream and added a great texture to the dessert. Feel free to use graham crackers or ginger snaps!
MEYER LEMON CREAM
"Adding cream thins lemon curd and makes it extra spoonable -- delicious in more than just this dish" -- Alison Roman from Bon Appetit
(4 servings; about 2 cups)
- 3 large eggs
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tsp finely grated Meyer or regular lemon zest
- 1/2 cup fresh meyer or regular lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 1/2 cups chilled heavy cream
- 6 Ginger Orange Cookies (or Graham Crackers), crumbled
- flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
Cook eggs, sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly until thickened (should coat a spoon), 8-10 minutes.
Transfer mixture to a blender and blend on low speed, gradually adding butter, until mixture is smooth (you're not trying to aerate the mixture, so keep the blender on low speed). Transfer lemon curd to a medium bowl, cover, and chill at least 2 hours.
Just before serving, whisk cream into lemon curd. Layer lemon cream and graham crackers in small glasses or bowls, finishing with graham crackers. Top with lemon zest and sea salt.
If you're not a big cookie fan, you can replace it with fresh fruit. I grabbed the best looking citrus at the store and came home with some tangelos, heirloom oranges, pink grapefruit and a couple blood oranges. I simply segmented them and took turns layering the cream with the fresh fruit. Add just a pinch of sea salt to put the finishing touch on the dessert.
Here's a cool video from Serious Eats on how to segment citrus. I even wonder if you could make a simple ice cream by freezing the meyer lemon mixture in ice cube trays and then blending it with the cream in a food processor when ready to serve.
What are you guys planning for Valentine's Day? We thought we could help with some ideas with some meat and vegetarian friendly options. Here's a sample menu that would be great for any friend, lover or family member.
Click on each item and it'll lead you directly to the recipes/videos -- don't forget to click on the sides for the Mains too!