Okay, I don't expect a home cook or a "foodie" (God, I hate that word) to understand culinary terms or culinary history, but when I go into a restaurant run by a supposedly trained Chef and I see "frozen souffle" on the menu, I want to strip the entire kitchen staff of their damn degrees! There is no such culinary creation! It is impossible! Point-in-fact: the word "souffle" is a bastardization of the French word "souffler" which means to "blow-up." A souffle is a baked dish relying on egg whites to "blow-up" or to be more precise "puff-up." So, why do I bring this up? Because this dish is often referred to in restaurants where you should never eat as a "frozen lemon souffle" - when it is in fact a "creme." Okay, time to hop off my soapbox and let's cook!
When we prepare this dish at Casa de Cuisine, we use Meyers lemons (as in the picture) but you can use any variety of lemon. I love Meyers lemons (even though there is no such thing since the the strain was wiped out years ago by a fungus) but the faux Meyers lemons available today are truly a wonderful combination of Mother Nature and botanical science (yes, the Meyers lemons of today are a combination of nature and science). Meyers lemons are a sweet and small variety of lemon. Matter-of-fact, eating a fully ripe Meyers lemon from a tree is like eating solid lemonade! Simply scrumptious! So, it should go without saying (or writing) that the best lemon to make a lemon creme are Meyers lemons.
Vibrant Summer Lemon Creme truly is a very easy dessert to prepare. It is simply a lemon curd folded into whipped cream! Yep, it is that simple! You can serve Vibrant Summer Lemon Creme two ways. First, right after it is folded; secondly, it can be frozen (what idiot so-called Chef's call a "frozen souffle" because they want to rip you off for more money). If you opt to freeze it, let it thaw about 1 hour before serving.
Ingredients needed to make Vibrant Summer Lemon Creme:
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 eggs
- The grated zest of all the lemons you used to get the juice
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 12 Tbs. butter, chilled and sliced
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- In a medium non-aluminum sauce pan (do not use aluminum or you will have a chemical reaction with the acidity of the lemon juice) and over low heat, whisk together the lemon juice, sugar, egg yolks, eggs, zest and salt until the sugar has dissolved.
- Whisk in the butter until it has melted.
- Increase the heat to medium and whisk the mixture until it has thickened to the point where it coats the back of a wooden spoon. You must whisk the mixture the entire time or the eggs will cook and you will ruin the curd.
- Remove the lemon curd from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Discard any solids.
- Let the lemon curd cool to room temperature and then chill until ready to use.
- Whip the cream until thickened.
- Add the powdered sugar and continue whipping the cream until stiff peaks form.
- Fold the whipped cream into the lemon curd and either serve or freeze.
The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."