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lemon desserts

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  1. This is one of the best cakes I have ever ate. You will not regret making it.
    -Becca

    Triple-Lemon Layer Cake
    Adapted from Fine Cooking

    For the Cake:
    9 1/4 ounces (2 1/3 cups) cake flour;
    more for the pans
    2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon table salt
    1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
    2 tablespoons lightly packed finely
    grated lemon zest
    6 ounces (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
    completely softened
    1 cup whole milk
    room temperature
    5 large egg whites
    room temperature
    1/4 teaspoon creme of tarter

    For the Filling*-

    3 ounces unsalted butter
    room temperature
    1 cup sugar
    2 large eggs
    2 large egg yolks
    2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
    1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

    For the Frosting-
    8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter,
    completely softened
    2 tablespoon lightly packed finely
    grated lemon zest
    3 1⁄2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
    3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    Make the lemon curd first so it can chill.
    *This lemon curd is actually from an earlier Fine Cooking. It is in first
    place in e-gullets lemon curd bake-off.
    I like to use my mixer bowl as a double boiler when making it. That way when its done I can put it back on my mixer and whip it until cool. I think it gives it a creamier , fluffier, texture.
    Don’t omit the unusual creaming of ingredients at the beginning. Fine Cooking found it eliminated the curdled bits of egg you usually have to strain out.

    Beat the butter with the sugar until it’s light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the eggs and yolks. Beat for 1 minute more, then stir in the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled. Do not panic.

    Cook the mixture over low heat until it becomes smooth, then increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, without letting it boil, until it thickens enough to leave a path on the back of the spoon when you drag your finger through it. If you want to go by temperature, you’re looking for 170 F.

    Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest. Press plastic wrap on surface to prevent a skin from forming and chill in the refrigerate.

    Make the Cake:

    Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8 by 2 inch round cake pans. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Pulse 1/4 cup of the sugar with the zest in a food processor until well combined.
    In a large bowl, beat the butter and lemon sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 1 1⁄2 minutes). Add the remaining sugar and beat until smooth (about 1 1⁄2 minutes). Beat in a quarter of the milk just until blended. On low speed, add the flour mixture alternatively with the milk in three batches, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula; beat just until blended.
    In another bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer (with clean beaters or a whisk attachment) on medium speed just until foamy. Add the creme of tarter, increase the speed to medium high, and beat until the whites form stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted. Add a quarter of the whites to the batter and gently fold them in with a rubber spatula; continue to gently fold tin the whites, a quarter at a time , being careful not to deflate the mixture.
    Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Smooth the tops with a spatula. Bake until a pick inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Let cool in the pans 10 minutes. Run a table knife along the sides of the pans and carefully invert each cake out onto the rack. Flip them right side up and let them cool completely.
    With the palm of one hand pressed on top of a cake layer, cut each in half horizontally, using a long serrated knife. Put one of the cake layers on a serving plate, cut side up. With an offset spatula or a table knife, spread a generous 1/3 a cup on top of the cake layer. Lay another cake layer on top, spread it with another generous 1/3 a cup, and repeat with third cake layer. (You will have extra curd, enjoy!) Top with the fourth cake layer.

    Make the Frosting:

    In a medium bowl, beat the butter and lemon zest with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners sugar in batches and beat until light and fluffy. Add the lemon juice and beat for one minute. (You can make the frosting a couple of hours early and keep it, covered, at cool room temperature.)

    Frost the Cake:

    Up to a few hours ahead, spread a thin layer of frosting on the cake, filling in any gaps as you go. Chill until the frosting firms up a bit, about 1⁄2 hour. Spread the remaining frosting decoratively over the top and sides of cake. Scatter with bits of lemon zest and silver dragees, or garnish as you like.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Becca Porter

      That recipe looks great! We love lemon in my house, and our teen loves to bake. This is a great Sunday project for a chilly Autumn day. Definitely on our to try list. Thanks

    2. lemon bars

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

      1. Cold lemon souffle (it is really a mousse) is really good. Very pretty and is nice with a berry sauce to accompany it.

        1. Lemon Slice Cookies

          1. ah hem...this is a home cooking discussion...any recipes for the above?

            1. There are all sorts of recipes for cold lemon mousse ie souffle out there. If one goes to Epicurious and searches on Lemon Souffle or Lemon Mousse there are a bunch of recipes as there are for lemon bars. Recipes were not requested. Just ideas.

              1. Lemon meringue cake from Martha Stewart.

                1. Just made this recipe from Cook's Illustrated for a party on Friday night. It was a huge hit. Wonderful fresh lemon flavor, moist...perfect. Soaking the zest in the lemon juice is a key step, as is creaming the butter and sugar thoroughly. I will paraphrase....

                  Make this the night before and once the cake is cooled, wrap well in plastic and keep at room temp. This allows the flavors to develop and the cake becomes more dense. (It is fine to eat the same day, but will be lighter and fluffier in texture.)

                  The Best Lemon Bundt Cake
                  Grated zest of 3 lemons
                  3T fresh lemon juice (use the 3 lemons you zested, plus perhaps another)
                  3C flour
                  1t baking powder
                  1/2t baking soda
                  1t table salt
                  1t vanilla
                  3/4C buttermilk, preferable low fat
                  3 eggs + 1 yolk, at room temp
                  18T (2-1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp.
                  2C sugar
                  Glaze:
                  2-3T lemon juice
                  1T buttermilk
                  2C powdered sugar

                  Heat to 350 w/rack in lower-mieddle slot. Spray Bundt pan with PAM with Flour. Finely mince lemon zest (very fine, almost like a paste) to have about 2T. Combine zest and lemon juice in small bowl and seta aside 10-15 minutes to soften the zest.

                  Whisk flour through salt in large bowl. Combine lemon juice/zest with vanilla and buttermilk in medium bowl. In small bowl, whisk eggs and yolk. In standing mixer with paddle, cream butter and sugar at medium-high until pale and fluffy, 3 minutes; scrape down sides. Reduce to medium; add half of eggs, mixing until incorporated, 15 seconds. Repeat with remaining eggs and scrape down bowl. Reduce to low; add about one-third flour mixture, then half of buttermilk mixture, mixing until just combined after each addition, 5 seconds. Repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining buttermilk. Scrape bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at medium-low until thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer; fold batter a couple pf times with spatula to mix in any remaining flour. Scrape into prepared pan. Bake until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean, 45-50 minutes.

                  For glaze -- Whisk 2T juice with buttermilk and powdered sugar until smooth, adding more juice if needed to make a thick but still pourable glaze. Cool cake in pan on rack set over baking sheet for 10 minutes; invert cake onto rack. Pour half of glaze over warm cake; let cool 1 hour; pour remaining glaze over top of cake and cool to room temp., at least 2 hours. I used a pastry brush in both glazing steps to spread the glaze all over the cake.

                  Serves 12-14

                  1. My favorite lemon cake is the Barefoot Contessa's recipe.

                    1. Lemon Slice Cookies

                      1 C butter,softened
                      1 C brown sugar, packed
                      1/2 C sugar
                      1 egg
                      1 T. lemon zest
                      2 T. lemon juice
                      2 C all-purpose flour
                      1/4 t. baking soda
                      1/2 t. salt

                      Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy; blend in egg,lemon zest and lemon juice. Add flour, baking soda and salt; mix until just blended. Refrigerate 1/2 hour. Divide dough in half, shape each into log on plastic wrap. Dough is real soft. I refrigerate for an hour or so and then re-shape. Refrigerate till firm. Cut chilled roll into 1/4 inch slices. Sprinkle colored sugars on for decoration. Bake on parchment paper at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Store in tightly lidded container. Crispy, buttery lemon goodness.

                      I replaced lemon with key lime juice today. I will post on results later.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: mochi mochi

                        I don't know what I like better, lemon or key lime. Crispy on the sides, chewy in the middle, buttery cookie.

                      2. lemon tea cake. A rich butter tea cake baked in a loaf pan, with minced fresh lemon balm or lemon verbena and lemon thyme. Hot lemon sugar glaze dribbled over the top as it comes out of the oven. Heaven!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: toodie jane

                          I love the lemon bars from Cook's Illustrated (and The Best Recipe cookbook). So does everyone who eats them. Their lemon cheesecake recipe is excellent, too.

                        2. I've posted these before- great lemon cookies, wonderful with dried fruit- either cranberries, cherries or currants.

                          1 stick unsalted butter, softened (plus some for baking sheets)
                          1 cup sugar
                          1/4 cup sour cream
                          1 large egg
                          1 1/2 cups flour
                          1/4 tsp baking powder
                          1/4 tsp salt (I use low sodium)
                          1 T grated lemon zest
                          1/2 cup some type of dried fruit (cranberries, cherries or currants)

                          preheat oven to 350 degrees & butter baking sheets generously. Combie butter & sugar, beating until light & fluffy. beat in sour cream & egg.
                          In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, b.p, & salt. gradually beat the dry mixture into the other until well combined. stir in zest & fruit.
                          drop onto prepared sheets - bake until slightly golden aroud edges- about 20 minutes. let cool 5 minutes on sheet before transfering to rack for
                          complete cooling.

                          1. My favorite is Shaker lemon pie, especially luscious with Meyer lemons. It's surprisingly easy. You should find lots of recipes online.