Sunday, February 28, 2010

Meyer Lemon Creme Brulee w. Raspberries & Blueberries

I was recently gifted a bounty of gorgeous meyer lemons from LA baking maven and lover of all things bundt Mary (aka The Food Librarian). The beautiful fruit came right off of trees in the backyard of Mary's dad --- Thank you Mary and Poppa Food Librarian!!! I knew I couldn't use all of this precious fruit right away, so I prepared most of them for the freezer.

I zested,
halved the zested lemons,
then did some serious juice squeezing.
I used snack size zip top bags to store the zest (the zest of 3 lemons in each bag),
and portioned the juice into 1/2 cup packages in sandwich bags. After marking the bags with a sharpie, they go into a large freezer bag and into the deep freeze. Now, I can enjoy fresh meyer lemon juice any time of the year!
I did set aside a handful of fruit for some immediate meyer lemon gratification. I've been reading through Karen DeMasco's book, The Craft of Baking, and her recipe for Lemon Raspberry Creme Brulee was calling my name.

The recipe calls for steeping the cream with lemon zest, cooling the mixture in an ice bath, adding lemon juice and salt, then resting the mixture overnight in the fridge.
Instead of tempering the eggs with the hot cream mixture (as I'm accustomed to), the eggs are whisked in to the cold lemon infused cream. The mixture is strained, and ready for the ramekins.

A handful of raspberries are scattered in each ramekin (I also added a few blueberries), and the custard mixture is poured into the prepared dishes.
These babies are ready for the oven.
Once the custard is set, it is chilled in the fridge overnight. Now, my favorite part - the brulee! After sprinkling some sugar on top,
the top is torched to melt the sugar and to create that scrumptious crunchy top.
My favorite part of this dessert is cracking the crunchy top, which yields to the creamy goodness underneath.
The custard delivers a nice refreshing tang from the meyer lemon, and has a wonderfully soft texture, which is a great contrast to the crunchy sugar top. The berries are soft and jammy, and provides a wonderful complement to the lemon flavor.
If you're a lover of all things lemon, I highly recommend that you take this recipe for a spin!

Meyer Lemon Creme Brulee w. Raspberries & Blueberries
adapted from The Craft of Baking by Karen DeMasco
Serves 6

2 C. heavy cream
1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
finely grated zest of 4 meyer lemons
1/2 c. strained fresh meyer lemon juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 large egg yolks
1 c. raspberries
1 c. blueberries
additional sugar

Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.

In a medium saucepan, bring the cream, sugar, vanilla and meyer lemon zest just to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture ino a medium bowl. Set the bowl into the ice bath and stir until the mixture has cooled. Once cooled, removed the bowl from the ice bath, and whisk in the lemon juice and salt. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Pour about one third of the chilled cream mixture into the yolks, and whisk together well. Add the remaining cream mixture and whisk to combine. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 300F.

Place 6 ramekins in 9x13x2 baking pan. scatter the raspberries and blueberries in a single layer in each ramekin. Divide the custard mixture among the ramekins. Place the prepared baking pan in the oven, and carefully pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the ramekins. Be careful not to dilute the custard mixture with the hot water.

Bake in the water bath for 30 minutes, or until just set.
Let the custards cool to room temperature, then chill until they are ready to be served.

Just before serving, sprinkle sugar evenly over the tops of each custad and caramelize with a torch or under a broiler. Serve immediately.


The Food Librarian said...

Ohhh! Can't wait to try this!! So glad you can eat real food again :) I need to freeze some juice and zest too. - mary

Heather said...

This is a delightful dish and with such fine process pics.

Smitten Sugar said...

Omg that looks absolutely amazing! Creme brulee is one of my old time favorite desserts I cant wait to try this!

Eliana said...

Now I need to go out and find me some meyer lemons because this looks incredible :)

CB said...

I heart creme brulee. I am starring this recipe to make ASAP! I am beyond jealous that you have Daddy Food Librarian close by to give you Meyer lemons. Thanks for all the tips on how to freeze them. Love the snack size bag idea!

Tracey said...

I love all the photos of those lemons! So super jealous of Mary that her dad has a Meyer lemon tree in his yard.

The creme brulee looks wonderful - great idea to add both raspberries and blueberries!

Michele said...

Yum! What a fabulous recipe!

Romy said...

Linda, I love your blog! Your photos are just gorgeous and our tastes seem to be very similar. I want to make absolutely everything here! All your TWD posts are great too - I'll just pop by here to check out what you think before I make a new recipe from BFMHTY. :)

Kayte said...

I came looking for the coconut tart and I certainly DID NOT need to see this...this is ONE dessert I can NEVER resist. I have resisted learning how to make it b/c I fear that I would be whipping it up all the time and that could not be good for the waistline...LOL. Your photos don't help. Absolutely make it so tempting!

Ingrid said...

Yes, I am a lover of all things lemony!

To be honest with your gorgeous photography everything you make looks scrumptious!

Rachel said...

Wow these are gorgeous photos! Just amazing! And a good lesson on preparing citrus for the freezer...which I will definitely use if I'm ever lucky enough to get my hands on a heap of Meyer lemons.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin