Tuesday, March 10, 2009

TWD - Lemon Cup Custard



I love lemon. Lemon squares, lemon tarts, lemon sorbet, lemonade, lemon chicken, lemon pound cake, lemon chiffon, lemon cheesecake, lemon curd scones, lemon yogurt, lemon Jolly Ranchers, lemon meringue pie...

I hear you shouting "OK Forrest, we get it. You like lemon."

In fact, if there's a chocolate dessert and a lemon dessert to choose from, I typically go for the lemon, even though I am a total chocolate nut. Maybe that has as much to do with the sorry state of most restaurant chocolate desserts, but it also speaks to my passion for the sweet, tart, floral notes of the lemon. So I was overjoyed when Bridget of The Way the Cookie Crumbles selected the Lemon Cup Custard for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe.

Knowing how lemon crazed I am, I cut this recipe in half (that way I was only at risk of eating three of them, about a cup of milk and two eggs: no biggie). I used the full amount of lemon zest called for in the recipe because I wanted to boost the lemon flavor but I didn't have any lemon oil or extract. This was a very easy recipe, but I added a couple of steps just because I'm a maniac.

I always, always strain custards after incorporating the hot milk. Dorie didn't ask us to do this, but as you can see, there were some egg solids in the strainer so I was glad I did.


I also poured the reserved hot milk into a measuring cup, since I found it impossible to whisk, strain and pour all at the same time. I found that the milk wasn't that hot after letting it sit, covered, for 30 minutes. I think the 30 minutes was needed to infuse the custard with the flavor of the lemon zest, but I'm not sure this gave the custard its best start in life.


The recipe called for baking the custards 40-45 minutes. They were definitely done at 40 minutes, maybe even over done. I let them cool and put them in the refrigerator for about 12 hours before serving.

I didn't have problems with it wiggling off the spoon as Dorie said it might, so I may have over baked it. In fact, it was very eggy. The lemon flavor was so faint that I regret not buying the lemon oil. I used a Meyer lemon, and they are more delicately flavored than traditional lemons. All in all, I'm glad I made it, but I may experiment with one of Dorie's playing around suggestions next time.

Check out what the other TWDers did here. I'm expecting great things from them in terms of flavor creations! And if you'd like the recipe, you'll find it here.

27 comments:

Sabrina said...

Great job! :)
I had the toughest time trying to whisk, strain and pour at the same time! How does Dorie do that?????

Karen said...

Good tip on the straining all custard desserts. I would not have thought of that. Glad you tried this!

chocolatechic said...

Beautiful.

pinkstripes said...

Your custards look great. I love lemon too.

Nichi said...

The lemon looks tasty.
Do try the espresso/cinnamon version if you didn't think the lemon was too eggy. You'd probably like it.

~3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

Your finished custards look awesome. While I didn't get to try my finished product due to Gunner, I do agree with the faint taste of what I tasted before it baked. You're also not the first one to say it was extremely eggy.

Ivette said...

Your custard looks great! I've read many good comments about the espresso-cinnamon version.. thinking about trying it soon since its super easy to make :)

SUGAR B said...

Hi Leslie! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

I think the key to this recipe was the lemon oil and extract. Because I seem to be the only few TWDer who really liked the custard! HA!

Nice pics! :)

Jessica said...

I'm sorry that they didn't live up to your expectations. I love Meyer lemons, it's too bad that sweet lemon flavor was overwhelmed by the eggs. They look great though!

margot said...

I agree, the more lemon the better--especially Meyer lemons. They look great!

Pamela said...

I love lemon, too. So even though I skipped this one, I really enjoyed the lemon cakes I made! Great job.

Amber Marie said...

These look great! I also used the whole lemon rind and thought it could use more, but it smelled lovely steeping in the milk. Glad you liked this one!

Sara said...

I have similar thoughts on this recipe. I actually made it twice because I totally ruined it the first time. The upside was I knew that it really needed a flavor boost the second time. I also added extra steps because I am super anal and wanted it to come out perfect the 2nd time :)
Sara/Imafoodblog.com

TourGuideJenn said...

I'm with you about lemons. I just love anything lemon flavored. As one of the few who liked this, I'd say the secret was the lemon extract, and a bit of time in the fridge. I kind of wished I had made the whole recipe (though my hips are glad I didn't!).

The Food Librarian said...

I double strained mine too - glad I did because there was some eggy bits on the second straining. Your custard looks great. I love all things lemon too!

Emily Rose said...

it looks like a lot of TWD bakers were disappointed with the lack of extreme lemon flavor- I tried to up the flavor in mine too but it still ended up being "light". Someone suggested using the zest, juice, and pulp to infuse the milk and apparently had a lot of success with a bold lemon flavor- but I was too chicken to put lemon juice in my milk because I thought it would turn into giant curds!

Teanna said...

I just ended up juicing the entire lemon into the mixture! It really was delicious after that! Forrest! Love it!

Michele said...

I think your custard came out beautifully!

Jess said...

Your custards look great - I used Meyer lemon plus lemon oil, and was still underwhelmed by the lemon flavor so I don't think you missed anything by skipping the oil. I also love, love, love lemon!

Natashya said...

Yay for lemons!
The flavour was subtle, I agree with you - next time I would add the extract too.
Great job though, looking forward to next week!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

I love lemon too! I wanted more lemony taste in this one, like you.

dharmagirl said...

lemon is one of my favorites, too. so cheery and fresh and zingy. and, i agree with you about most restaurant chocolate creations...we can make better at home:)

AmyRuth said...

Leslie, I made 1/2 recipe as well. Did the sugar rub and baked for 35 minutes. I think the texture was more appealing to me, not so rubbery. More like a brulee. I thought this was a nice dessert and very easy. You are so right about the straining thing. I wonder if there was a misprint in the book, do you think? I'm not an octobaker ar ar So glad you got to enjoy the lemons and you should really try drizzling chocolate with your lemon treats sometime. Its a good combination.
AmyRuth

Liliana said...

Your lemon custards look good! I also love lemons so I will make sure to use lemon oil next time I make it.

TeaLady said...

Lemon is always good. And I would have to agree that sometimes it would win out over chocolate, sometimes.....

Yours looks just right.

Jacque said...

It seems there's been a trend in recipes in recent years to make use of the zest, and I'm starting to suspect the zest isn't as strongly flavored as it's made out to be. I wonder when and if we'll go back to just adding lemon extract or use the lemon juice.

But anyway, nice job on the custards, they look perfect!

farah said...

Well done, they look really good :)