|Looking out of my kitchen window at the little lemon tree|
This post was inspired by my tiny, but ever prolific Meyer Lemon tree, that I see directly out of my kitchen window. Every time I look out of that window I love seeing the little burst of sunshine that is this small tree covered in bright yellow lemons. It reminds me of the sunny days in Provence, and provided the inspiration for a delicious desert - Lemon Creme Caramel.
|Looking closely at the branches weighed down with lemons, you can see the beginnings of the new crop - tiny new dark green fruit have started growing|
Meyer lemons are very fruity, slightly sweeter with something of an orange flavor. They are wonderful for this recipe, but other varieties of lemons will work as well. It's amazing how the addition of zest and juice of one lemon turns this old favorite into a very different light and refreshing summer desert, without overpowering it. I was looking for a refreshing desert for hot summer days - and the chilled, light lemony custard with a stronger, sweeter lemony caramel sauce is perfect. This is a great do ahead desert, if you would like the freshness of lemons, but would like something without the crust of a lemon tart.
|Meyer lemons are a bright yellow in color and have a characteristic fruitiness not found in other varieties of lemons|
Begin by grating the zest of one medium sized lemon. Set the grated zest aside for the custard.
Squeeze the juice from the lemon into a saucepan and add one cup of sugar.
|After the sugar has melted, cook until the mixture becomes golden brown and sticky|
Stir the juice and sugar over a low heat until the sugar has melted and the mixture begins to bubble. Continue cooking until the sugar caramelizes and is a deep golden brown.
|When the caramel is golden brown and sticky, coat the base and sides of your mold|
Pour immediately into your custard dish and quickly swirl to coat the entire bottom of the dish.
In a large bowl, gently mix six eggs and three-quarters of a cup of sugar until well combined. Add three and a quarter cups of milk, three-quarters of a cup of cream and the lemon zest and stir. Pour the custard into the caramel coated dish and bake in a bain marie at 300 deg. for approx one hour or until a knife when inserted into the custard, comes out clean.
Allow to cool and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
|Lemon Creme Caramel sprinkled with lemon zest|
When ready to serve, run a knife around the edge to loosen the custard and invert onto your serving dish. You can decorate the top with a little whipped cream and a few thinly cut strips of lemon zest if you wish or serve it just as it is.
|The deep brown lemon caramel coats the light, lemon flavored custard|
Note: If you would like to make the custard lighter, omit the cream and use four cups of milk.
I would love to hear about your favorite fabulous lemon recipes if you would like to share them.