Issue 08: Lemons
Strawberries were supposed to make their appearance as part of our Berries series. But in some weeks after London, the refreshing vivid flavours of lemons began to show up in our kitchen. Our favourite desserts in the UK just so happen to showcase the same zesty yellow fruit – a lemon posset in Gingerman and a lemon polenta cake in Ottolenghi. To satisfy our cravings and to evoke those wonderful memories we had there, we decided to give our berries a rest and bring out the proper taste of summer.
Lemons are one of those ingredients that will always have its presence felt in every kitchen all over the world. There are plenty of reasons why: it is a great companion to meat and seafood, gives a wonderful spritz of freshness to salads and is very well-loved in many sweets and desserts. Extremely versatile and full of vitamins, both the juice and its zest can be used to add a full-bodied perfume to a dish. (Just watch any episode of Raymond Blanc and you’ll see him asking of leh-mon almost every single time.)
The Eureka lemon is typically sold in supermarkets, but in recent years, the Meyer lemon has made its way into our shores. We have not had the chance to use Meyers but would love to one day. Another dream is to gather citrons (lemons, blood oranges, bitter oranges, clementines, etc) when in season in Italy, and then make jars and jars of marmalade and jam. Imagine that!
Picking lemons are simple – they should be firm and unblemished. Feel the weight, heavy fruits will contain more juice. If using the lemons for the zest, choose larger fruits with thicker skin. Make sure they are unwaxed.
We were spoiled for choice when deciding what to do. Cakes, ice creams, biscuits, fools, tarts, candies, jellies, even drinks. The list was endless. Thank goodness for London, we knew we just wanted to recreate our favourite desserts. Plus there is always a lemon at home, so the sweets would never stop.