After making a good batch of lemoncello, I just had to make some delicious concoction from them! This cocktail is super simple and refreshing, which makes it perfect for the Christmas/holiday season, in both hemispheres. I whipped these up,photographed them after work and served it to Seb when he arrived home after a hard day in the office. Yeah, I totally felt like I was in Mad Men. Betty Draper inspired. :)
Lemoncello & Prosecco Cocktail
Lemoncello Prosecco Lemon zest Lemon juice
1. Add one shot (30mls) to a glass with a small squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Top the glass up with your favourite sparkling white wine (I used Prosecco from the King Valley in Victoria) and finish it off with a piece of lemon zest.
We’re now officially in December so it’s time to start thinking about presents people. Why not make some delicious homemade lemoncello? You’ll need at least 10 days for it to sit and let the lemons infuse so get your skates on. My dad LOVES lemoncello and has been harping on about how his mates have made their own. Dad – you were my inspirations and this now proves that I do listen to you!
Tart the packaging up a bit with some ribbon, a small Christmas decoration or a little tag and it’s the perfect homemade gift.
Deliciously Lemony Lemoncello
750ml litres 100 Proof Grain Vodka – Smirnoff is fine 10 washed organic lemons – peeled 3 water 2 1/4 cups sugar
1. Wash and dry the lemons and remove the peels with a vegetable peeler; careful to only peel the rind and not the pith (the white portion). Place the lemon peels into a large sterilised glass container with an wide mouth & an airtight lid. Pour the alcohol on top & seal with lid. Keep the container in a cool dry dark place. Shake it once a day for approximately 10 days.
2. On the 11th day, make a simple sugar syrup by boiling the water and sugar and stirring often until well combined. Take off of heat and let it cool completely.
3. Remove the lemon peels from your jar and discard. Strain the liquid with a sieve or coffee filter into the sugar syrup. Pour the lemoncello into sterilised bottles and leave them at least once month before consuming.
Note – I found my lemoncello had some sediments that sat on the top. I was a little worried that I hadn’t sterilised the bottles properly but I read up on it and found that this is quite normal. Chill and shake before serving over ice.
Last week my lovely friend Amber was busy cooking up a storm in her kitchen and made me all sorts of delicious treats, including a jar of lemon curd! Augh my goodness, this is the sort of stuff that makes me go weak at the knees! It’s edible gold! I introduced her to it earlier in the year when we went to our family shack over the new year break. I scored a jar at our christmas ‘pickle club’ meet but it had be used within two weeks, so I took it down to Tassie with me. We had it on our toast every morning whilst taking in the magnificent view of The Hazards across the bay. It’s undoubtably my favourite part of the world!
After a beautiful sunny weekend (yessss, spring has finally sprung!), I realised I hadn’t even given two thoughts about what I was going to make for this weeks post (I’ll blame it on sun stroke)… anyway, after a quick look through the fridge, I saw the lemon curd and knew I had to make a mini version of the classic Lemon Meringue Pie. Like I said, it was getting quite late in the day and I didn’t want to miss out on shooting in the natural light so things were rather rushed. I got halfway through making the pastry when I realised I didn’t have enough butter – dang it. So I thought I’d experiment with a little bit of cream cheese instead. The pastry had a slightly soured taste compared to a normal full butter recipe but I liked it. It’s still a perfect base for the mouth watering toppings.
Now I wanted to let you know that not everything in the Adeline & Lumiere kitchen always goes to plan… and this Sunday was no exception. I had Amber’s lemon curd but knew there wouldn’t be enough to fill all the cases, so I thought I’d make the lemon mixture in the recipe I was following. Disaster! I’m not sure if I measured something incorrectly but it just tasted wrong! There seemed to be a lot of cornflour in the recipe (that I double checked) so I’m just going to say, avoid a lemon curd recipe with CORNFLOUR! It didn’t feel right but hey, I was rushing. Anyway, I tired to resuscitate it but it flat-lined every time. In the end I had to toss out my lemon mixture, but not to worry Amber’s saved the day. It didn’t make a lot of them, but the few mini lemon meringue pies that I did make, were in fact AMAZING!
Has anybody else had any problems with making a lemon meringue pie? Or is it just me?
PS: Lovely succulents provided by the talented Wona Bae.
Recipe by Valli Little
2 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks 3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar 1/3 cup (80g) chilled unsalted butter Zest and juice of 2 lemons
1. Whisk all eggs and sugar in a saucepan until combined and place pan over a low heat. Add the juice, butter, zest and whisk continuously until thickened. Store in a sterilised jar and it will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.
* Make sure the pan isn’t hot otherwise you’ll get scrambled eggs!
Cream Cheese Pastry
1.5 cups plain flour 150g cream cheese 50g cold chilled butter – cubed 1/4 cup white sugar 2.5 tbsp chilled water
1. Add flour, cream cheese, butter and white sugar to a food processor and pulse until it forms a sandy texture. Add the chilled water until it just comes together. Wrap in cling film and pop in the fridge for 30 mins or the freezer for 15 mins if you’re pressed for time.
2. Once chilled, roll out on a floured surface 5mm thick or slightly thinner if you can (especially because they’re only mini pies). I used a round egg ring as a cutter which was the perfect size. Mold them into a mini cupcake tray and bake blind for 5-10 minutes or until golden. Because they were so little I didn’t bother putting rice or ceramic baking balls to weigh them down and they didn’t puff up too much.
3. Place a teaspoon worth of lemon curd into each pastry case.
4 egg whites 1 cup sugar
1. Ensure you have a spotlessly clean bowl and balloon whisk and place all 4 egg whites in the bowl. Set the mixer on level 2-3 until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar until thick and glossy.
2. Add the meringue carefully to a piping bag and pipe the meringue tops on. Bake in a 190ºC until the tops are just golden brown.
Well how was everybodys’ weekend? I don’t know about you but mine was great! First of all I had two pieces of good news on Friday afternoon…
1. I found out I got a new job (wooohoooo!) It was a three month process from the first interview, but it was worth the wait. Good things really do come to those who… well, you know ; )
2. The second bit of good news was that I won a competition from The Design Files blog! The new book by ‘The Little Veggie Patch Co.’ (who were guest bloggers on TDF last week) will be cherished dearly. This book will come in handy as Seb just made me a new planter box out of old floorboards. I look forward to seeing what else we can grow in our minuscule courtyard… I’ll keep you updated.
On Friday afternoon, to congratulate me on these two wins, Seb came home with a bottle of amazing French Champagne and flowers – sheesh what a guy! Happiness = Champagne and flowers :) What a lovely surprise.
After all the exciting news I still had a weekend getaway to look forward to. A group of us drove down the rainy coast to Fairhaven and rented a shack. Although it was dark, gloomy and rainy, it meant we could light the open fire and play lots of card games in the warmth. Now that’s proper shack entertainment. My friend Rob hit the nail on the head when he said, “When you go to a shack you either want it to be really sunny and beautiful, or cold and rainy – anything in between is just meh”. It was quite fitting that we had the best of both…
The next day the weather completely flipped. We had blue skies and glorious sunshine, so it was straight to the beach for a dunk in the the waves. From the beach we hiked up to a nearby lighthouse, which was apparently the location of the kids show ‘Round the Twist’ – for all you Aussie readers out there.
The Great Ocean Road is such a beautiful part of the country, I can’t wait to get back there for another adventure!
1. Purée all ingredients in a blender. If you don’t like the seeds, strain through a fine sieve and discard. Otherwise leave them in.
2. Place in a suitable sized bowl in the freezer until its set hard. Once completely frozen, place it back in the blender or food processor and blitz it again. Return it to the freezer for an hour or so more. This will soften up the sorbet so it’s easier to serve. Alternatively, freeze in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturers’ instructions. Makes about 500ml.
1. Preheat oven to 170°C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
2. Place sugar, eggs and grated lemon rind in a large bowl and beat well until pale and creamy.
3. Fold in sifted flour, baking powder and almonds, then use your hands to lightly knead dough on a floured work surface until the dough is smooth.
4. Divide the mixture in half. Form 2 long logs about 25cm long x 5cm wide and place on prepared baking tray, leaving space between logs. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the dough is firm to the touch and slightly golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely (about an hour).
5. Preheat the oven to 140°C. Once dough is cool, use a small serrated knife to cut each log on the diagonal in 0.5cm slices.
Lay slices flat on the baking tray and return to oven for 15-20 minutes, turning once, until completely dried out. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for 2-3 weeks.
The very first tagine I had was in Marrakesh in a small restaurant just off Jamaa el Fna, the main square. It was stinking hot and me and my friends were starving after flying in that morning on a 6am flight…from Stanstead. This was the first time I’d ever been to a Muslim country and I was loving every minute of it. Everything from the busy markets, the food, the smells from the spice markets :) and tannery :( , the riad style houses, the noises (calling to prayer) – were all so foreign and new to me; I couldn’t soak it all in quick enough.
Anyway, I will always remember that first tagine I had that day. I had no idea what it was but I was looking forward to it all none the less. I was so confused about what to order because cous cous was the extent of Moroccan cusine I knew. I decided to order the Lemon Chicken Tagine and to this day it is still listed in my top 5 food moments of all time. I’ve discovered that lemon plays quite an important part in Moroccan cuisine (along with pomegranates, mint, lamb and loads of spices) and thanks to Jamie Oliver, I’ve now discovered what gives their dishes the fresh zesty flavour- preserved lemons.
Last week I went Op shopping and bought a big bunch of lemons for 20c each – bargain. Then later in the week we met up for dinner with Seb’s aunty who gave us about another 10 from her garden. It was very tempting for me to make all sorts of different lemon cakes, biscuits and slices (all my favourite) but I knew I’d want to eat them all…not good for the waist line. So, preserved lemons. A must for Moroccan food and according to Jamie, once you start adding them to dishes, you can’t stop. All I have to do now is wait a good month.
Recipe by Jamie Oliver
Moroccan Preserved Lemons
10 small unwaxed lemons
200 g coarse sea salt
2 fresh bay leaves
7 black peppercorns
2 sticks of cinnamon
1. First you’ll want to sterilize a 1 litre jar. Wash it in warm soapy water and ensure you rinse it well. Take off any rubber seals and place it in a 100°C oven for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put the seal in a bowl of boiling water. After 20 minutes remove the jars from the oven, taking care not to touch anywhere near the opening of the jar and leave them to cool.
2. Squeeze the juice from 5 of your lemons and put to one side. In your other 5 lemons, cut a deep cross into the top and keep going until you’ve cut 3/4 of the way through. They should stay joined at the base. Pack a teaspoon full of salt into each one and place in the staralized jar.
3. Layer the lemons up with the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and peppercorns. Once all your lemons are in the jar, pour in your lemon juice and top up with water.
4. Seal up the jar and leave it for a month in a dark space. Give the jar a gentle shake every couple of days to move the salt around.
After a month the lemons are ready for using. Jamie has a few different recipes in his book “Jamie Does” where he uses these Preserved Lemons. After a month I’ll try to make one of them to use the lemons I’ve made. Yum.