Lemon Cup Custard

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These are tasty and lemony, simple to make, and somewhat reminiscent of creme brulee.  Also, they require no modifications to be gluten free!

 

Lemon Cup Custard
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: 4-6 servings

  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (optional)

 

  1. Stir together milk and zest in a saucepan; bring to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 30 minutes.
  3. Reheat slowly.
  4. Place rack in center of oven, and preheat to 325°F.  Line roasting pan with 2 layers of paper towels.  Place 4-6 custard or coffee cups in pan.
  5. Whisk together eggs and sugar until well blended.
  6. Whisk 1/4 cup hot milk slowly into egg mixture.
  7. Continue to whisk, and strain in remaining milk; skim foam from surface.
  8. Stir in lemon extract, if desired.
  9. Pour custard into cups.
  10. Put pan on oven rack, and fill pan with hot water halfway up side of cups.
  11. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until centers jiggle only slightly when tapped.
  12. Transfer cups to wire rack, and let cool to room temperature.
  13. Cover and chill 2 hours or up to 2 days.
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Caramel-Topped Flan

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Caramel-topped flan is another great dessert for the hot summer months.  It’s cool and slinky and refreshing.

 

Caramel-Topped Flan
From Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: One 8-inch flan OR 6 (6-oz) ramekins OR 7-8 (4-oz) ramekins

For the caramel:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • Squirt of fresh lemon juice

For the flan:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Line a roasting pan or 9-by-13 inch baking pan with a double thickness of paper towels.
  2. Fill a teakettle with water and put it on to boil; when the water boils, turn off heat.
  3. Put a metal 8-inch round cake pan with 2-inch sides – not a nonstick one – in the oven to heat while you prepare the caramel.  (If you are using individual molds or ramekins, then skip this step.)
  4. Stir the sugar, water, and lemon juice together in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  5. Put the pan over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar becomes an amber-colored caramel, about 5-10 minutes.  The sugar will bubble.  Remove the pan from the heat at the first whiff of smoke.
  6. Remove the cake pan from the oven and, working with oven mitts, pour the caramel into the pan and immediately tilt the pan to spread the caramel evenly over the bottom; set the pan aside.
  7. Bring the milk and heavy cream just to a boil.
  8. Meanwhile, in a 2-quart glass measuring cup or in a bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, and sugar.
  9. Whisk vigorously for a minute or two, and then stir in the vanilla.
  10. Still whisking, drizzle in about one quarter of the hot liquid to temper, or warm, the eggs so they won’t curdle.
  11. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the hot cream and milk.
  12. Using a large spoon, skim off the bubbles and foam that you worked up.
  13. Put the caramel-lined cake pan in the roasting pan.
  14. Pour the custard into the cake pan and slide the setup into the oven.  Very carefully pour enough hot water from the kettle into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan. (Don’t worry if this sets the cake pan afloat.)
  15. Bake the flan for about 35 minutes, or until the top puffs a bit and is golden here and there.  It will be very jiggly, but a knife inserted into the center of the flan should come out clean.  (If using small, individual molds, start checking for doneness around the 25-minute mark).
  16. Remove the roasting pan from the oven, transfer the cake pan to a cooking rack, and run a thin knife between the flan and the sides of the pan to loosen it.
  17. Let the flan cool to room temperature on the rack, then loosely cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  Covered with plastic wrap in its baking pan, the flan will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  18. When ready to serve, once more, run a thin knife between the flan and the pan. Choose a rimmed serving platter, place the platter over the cake pan, quickly flip the platter and pan over, and remove the cake pan.  The flan will shimmy out and the caramel sauce will coat the custard.  Once unmolded, its best to enjoy it the same day, otherwise the top will start to look wrinkly.  (It will still taste the same.)
  19. Bring the flan to the table and cut into wedges. Spoon some of the syrup onto each plate.

Lemon Cake with Lemon Filling

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The cake unfortunately turned out to be on the dense side, which is why I’m categorizing it as a “failed abomination,” but it could be an excellent ice cream cake.  The lemon filling was delicious.

You can find the original recipe here:
Original recipe

We replaced the heavier, butter frosting in the original recipe with a fluffy egg white-based frosting instead, which I will write up in a separate post.  (The egg white-based frosting also allows you to use up the extra egg whites.)

Lemon Cake with Lemon Filling
Adapted from allrecipes.com

Cake:
2 cups gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk

Filling:
1 1/4 tablespoons lemon zest
a little over 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 tablespoons tapioca starch OR cornstarch
7 tablespoons butter
a little under 1 cup sugar
5 egg yolks, beaten until smooth

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. Beat together butter and sugar, then beat in eggs and vanilla.
  3. Mix in baking powder and salt.
  4. Beat in flour alternately with milk.
  5. Pour batter in pans and bake for 30 minutes.  Allow to cool in the pans while you make the filling.
  6. For the filling, stir together lemon zest, lemon juice, and tapioca OR cornstarch in a medium saucepan.
  7. Add butter and sugar and bring mixture to a boil over medium heat.
  8. Boil filling for 1 minute while stirring.
  9. Mix egg yolks and a few spoonfuls of the lemon mixture in a small bowl.
  10. Add egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan while stirring constantly.
  11. Decrease heat to low and cook (don’t boil) the filling for 5 minutes or until it becomes thick.  If you are using tapioca starch, you will probably need to increase the time.  Stir constantly.
  12. Pour filling into a bowl and press plastic wrap onto the surface.  Allow filling to cool to room temperature.
  13. Assemble the cake.  Place one cake layer (domed side up) on a serving plate and spread with the filling.  Top with the other layer (domed side down).  Frost the cake if desired.

Lemon Meringue Pie

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We all love lemon meringue pie!  This is a recipe you can tweak easily depending on how sweet or lemony you want it.  The original recipe can be found here:

Original Betty Crocker recipe

Lemon Meringue Pie
Adapted from Betty Crocker

Crust
1 cup gluten-free flour OR all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening OR butter
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water (you may need to add a little more until the pastry just sticks together in a ball)

Filling
3 egg yolks
1 to 1-1/2 cups sugar, depending on how sweet you like your pie
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch OR tapioca starch
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons to 1/4 cup grated lemon peel, depending on how lemony you want your pie
1/2 to 3/4 cup lemon juice

Meringue
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 to 6 tablespoons sugar, depending on how sweet and stiff you want your meringue
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Make the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 475°F.
  2. Mix flour and salt in a bowl.  Cut in butter or shortening with a pastry cutter or with your fingers until the pieces are the size of small peas.  Sprinkle in water and toss with a fork until the pastry sticks together and you can form it into a ball.
  3. You can dust a work surface with flour and roll out the dough with a rolling pin, but the easiest thing to do with gluten-free flour is to press the dough into the pie tin.
  4. Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork and bake for 8-10 minutes.  The crust will look golden brown.

Make the filling:

  1. Separate eggs, putting yolks in a small bowl and the whites into a mixing bowl.  (Eggs are easiest to separate while cold.)
  2. Decrease oven temperature to 400°F.
  3. Stir together sugar and tapioca OR corn starch in a saucepan.  Stir in water.  Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally and watching for it to begin thickening.  Once it starts to thicken, it will do so very quickly.  Stir constantly at this stage and let it boil for a minute.
  4. Stir about half of the thickened mixture into the bowl of egg yolks.  Mix this back into mixture in the saucepan.  Boil and stir for another minute.
  5. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in lemon juice and peel.
  6. Pour filling into the pie crust.

Make the meringue:

  1. Beat egg whites and cream of tarter until they are foamy.
  2. Continue to beat while adding sugar one tablespoon at a time.
  3. Beat until meringue is stiff and glossy.  Beat in vanilla.
  4. Use rubber spatula to spread meringue over the hot filling.  Make sure to seal the meringue to the edge of the crust so it doesn’t shrink while baking.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes.  The meringue will be light brown.
  6. Cool away from drafts for 2 hours.  Store pie in refrigerator until you serve it.

Chocolate Citrus Shortbread Cookies

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Since some of my family and friends who don’t have food allergies are also trying recipes from here, from now on I’ll include the baking times and any special instructions for normal baking too.  There isn’t much difference between the two versions because I deliberately pick recipes that don’t require much change.

For these cookies, you can use whatever citrus fruit you have on hand!  Oranges, lemons, they’re all fine.

This recipe comes from Simply Recipes:
Original Simply Recipes recipe

 

Chocolate Citrus Shortbread Cookies
Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes

Yield: 30 cookies

  • 1 cup gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder (such as Hershey’s Special Dark)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (11 is also fine if that’s what you happen to have…)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of citrus zest (or if you love citrus flavor, just use zest from the entire orange/lemon)

1.  Preheat oven to 325°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  Or, if you’re like my tipsy friend, with both!
2.  Beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed in a mixer for 5 minutes.
3.  Mix in the vanilla and citrus zest.
4.  Mix in salt.  Stir in the flour and cocoa powder, then beat for 2 minutes.  The dough will be somewhat soft and sticky.  If it’s too hard to work with, you can put it in the freezer for 10 minutes.
5.  If you’re feeling fancy, you can roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper to 1/4-inch thickness and use cookie cutters to make nice shapes.  I’m lazy, so I just shaped the dough into 1-inch balls and squashed them into circles.  Regardless of how you get cookies, space them 1 inch apart on the baking sheets.
6.  Bake for 15-20 minutes if gluten-free OR 13-15 minutes if not.  The cookies are done when the sides are slightly firm but still have some give when nudged with a fork.  The center will be soft if poked, but the cookies will firm up as they cool.

Blueberry Lemon Scones

Um, so I may have forgotten to take pictures before we ate all the scones….  You can find beautiful pictures at Smitten Kitchen though, which is where I got the recipe in the first place!

Update: Try spreading them with clotted cream!

Original Smitten Kitchen recipe

 

Blueberry Lemon Scones
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

2 cups gluten-free flour
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
3 tablespoons raw (turbinado) or light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small bits
1 cup fresh blueberries
2/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon raw (turbinado) or other coarse sugar for finishing

1.  Heat oven to 400°F.
2.  In a large bowl, combine flour, zest, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Add cold butter and work into the flour mixture until the biggest pieces are the size of small peas with either your fingertips or a pastry blender.
3.  Mix in blueberries and milk with your hands, gently kneading just until the milk is mixed in.
4.  Shape the dough into 8 triangles on baking sheet.  If desired, sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar.
5.  Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until scones are golden brown on top.

Lemon Pound Cake

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One of my friends loves fresh whipped cream, so I decided to make pound cake as a whipped cream delivery mechanism.  It’s a conveniently robust recipe – if you don’t have lemon peel, you can substitute grated orange peel or even 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.  I was out of milk as well, so I mixed together 1/8 cup heavy cream and 1/8 cup water, and it worked fine.

Lemon Pound Cake
Recipe adapted from The Little Pie Company’s Pies and Other Dessert Favorites

Cake
1 3/4 cup gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/4 cup milk

Whipped cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour 9x5x3″ metal loaf pan.
2.  Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3.  Beat in eggs, vanilla, and lemon peel.
4.  Beat in baking powder and salt, followed by flour.
5.  Beat in milk.
6.  Pour batter in pan, smooth top, and bake for 55-60 min.
7.  If using pound cake as a delivery device for whipped cream, beat together 1 cup heavy cream and 1 tablespoon sugar.