Archive for the ‘lemon curd’ Category
Last weekend was Matilda’s thirteenth birthday. Scary, I know. And not only do I now live with a teenager, I experienced my first slumber party since I was a teenager. Sure there was a lot of giggling, but hey, I got to make cake! And hummus. And pizza. And since we’re apparently now mini food fetishists, we had mini Bundt cakes. I used the French vanilla cupcake recipe from have cake, will travel but replaced the chocolate extract with almond extract. Holy crap are those things good. They were super moist but not wet and crisped up nicely on the outside. They were a hit with a room full of omnis, which is also a plus. But since plain vanilla cakes aren’t thirteenth-birthday-level festive, they were filled with lemon curd (yeah, I might be obsessed) and drizzled with a lemon glaze and garnished with fresh strawberries. The final pic with the glaze was a little, uh, gross, but the finished cakes were sure tasty.
Recently my friend Mary hosted a mini food party. The original idea was just to make a few tiny, maybe complicated, things, but soon the guest list tripled, and we all panicked that there wouldn’t be enough food. Man were we wrong. There was so much food that even the champion eaters among us met their limits (and by “met their limits” I mean “retreated to the backyard in case they had to puke”). There’s something about making food very small that makes you think you can eat at least twice as much of it. But before the coma set in, everything was really delicious. Some of the highlights (desserts first, of course):
Mary’s chocolate-chip cheesecakes
Megan’s mini trifles. Well, mini might be a bit misleading. The glasses may have been small, but it was still a lot of trifle. I don’t know how she makes that vegan whipped cream (it’s sort of half custard, half whipped cream) but it’s incredible.
Cherry tomatoes stuffed with mixed olive tapenade, by me. These were a pain in the ass, to say the least. The next time I’m browsing through Martha Stewart’s Hor D’oeuvres Handbook and I say, “Ooh, those are cute,” I have to think about the crazy amount of work involved. Cutting the centers out of a couple of pints of cherry tomatoes takes forever. They sure were tasty though.
The way I see it, vegan scones usually have one of two problems: 1) They’re so dry you fear losing a tooth every time you bite into them, or 2) they’re too moist and fluffy, resembling flat muffins more than scones. I always used to use a recipe from Everyday Food magazine, which was touted as lower fat and didn’t use any eggs. But these always fell on the too-fluffy side, although if I put enough cranberries or blueberries in them I didn’t so much care. But this time I wanted nice, semi-dry, flaky scones. This lemon-pine-nut version isn’t quite there, they were a little too floury and fluffy, but with some tweaking I think they’ll get there. And they don’t have two sticks of butter like so many of the recipes I consulted.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
6 Tbsp margarine
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup soy milk, plus more for brushing tops of scones
1/4 cup pine nuts
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together flours, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Cut in margarine with a pastry cutter until it is in small sandy pieces. Mix in lemon juice and soy milk, turn out onto clean work surface, and pat into a round about 1-1 1/2 inches high. Use a bench scraper or other semi-sharp straight edge to cut dough into eight triangles. Brush each scone with soy milk and sprinkle with sugar (I use the vegan sugar carried at Whole Foods, which is nice and coarse and makes for a crunchy top, much like sanding sugar; finer-grained sugar will create more of a crust on top). Transfer to a baking sheet lined with Silpat or parchment and bake for 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool (the scones will be a bit tender when they’re warm but will get crunchier as they cool).
Oh, and about that lemon curd. It is forking incredible. I used a recipe from Bryanna Clark Grogan, which I’ve been eying forever. I should’ve made it the night before so it could have time to cool and thicken, but it was still delicious as a sort of sauce on the scones. But once it did cool, it was so thick and gelatinous. It’s the lemon curd I’ve dreamt about ever since the Chicago Diner so cruelly decided to make their wonderful lemon coconut cake special-order only. Maybe soon I’ll make a lemon-curd pie, which would satisfy my urge to eat the stuff with a spoon but wouldn’t feel so pathetic.
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