... and the winner is ....
Pille. Pille was actually the first one to comment on my last post and imagine my surprise (and to some extent horror), when it was the correct guess too. After that though I sat back and enjoyed reading your guesses.
So, Pille it seems you'll be getting mail from me again, good thing I still have your address ;-). All you now need to do is send me the name of the picture you would like and I'll rush it to the photo shop and get it developed for you. Congratulations!
To all of the others, I thank you for playing along and don't be discouraged I might do this again.
Now on to the dreamy ice cream. It certainly was Ginger Lemon ice cream and from none other than the newly crowned king of ice creams - David Lebovitz and his luscious The Perfect Scoop. I have been going through this incredible compilation of delicious ice creams and I cannot get over it. Each one tastes better than the one before!
Not long ago I wrote about ginger and its wonderful aromatic and healing effects it has on us humans. I love ginger. I love it in my tea, my food and even in desserts, but I had to admit I had never had ginger ice cream before. As soon as I saw David's "Fresh Ginger Ice Cream" I knew I had to change this and decided to give it a try. David recommends a few variations to this recipe and I picked the one that includes lemon zest. In my opinion, lemons and ginger go so perfectly together and combining them in an ice cream is soooo ingenious.
Lemons are aromatically fragrant citrus fruits. A perfect choice for Marta's new food event Fresh Produce of the Month.
A Greek Lemon Tree. Taken in Olympia on our vacation last year
Maybe not something one would snack on in between meals, but they certainly add a wonderful zingy flavor to any recipe. It's been known for its therapeutic properties for generations and is the basis of any home remedy. As a matter of fact Nero, who feared being poisoned, consumed a great deal of them!
Although lemons are available throughout the year, their peak season is around May, June and August.
Lemons contain powerful antioxidants that slow the aging process. Doctors often recommend lemon to fight a wide range of illnesses such as urinary infections, kidney stones, bronchitis, colds, constipation, heartburn and pyorrhea. Additionally, they are an excellent source of vitamin C, one of the most important antioxidants in nature. The juice of one lemon supplies 35% of the daily requirement of Vitamin C.
It is believed that lemons actually originated in the Northern Indian subcontinent. Trees came to Europe by way of Asia Minor and were first grown in Greece and then Italy. According to Greek Mythology, oranges and lemons were a symbol of fertility and love.
There are 47 known varieties of lemons. The two basic types are sweet and acid, which are more commercially available. These are either large Eureka or smooth-skinned Lisbon. I won't be listing all 47 lemons here but a few I have used and particularly like.
Eureka lemons are probably the most widely grown lemon variety in the world. It is a true 'bitter' lemon with a high juice and acid content. The fruits of this variety should be thin-skinned and virtually seedless.
Lisbon lemons are of a better quality bitter lemon, than the Eureka type, with high juice and acid levels and thin skin.
This very popular variety of 'lemon' is actually not a fact a true lemon at all. It is a natural hybrid between a lemon and either an orange or a mandarin. Therefore, it has a lower acidity level, reduced bitterness and softer internal texture.
Although the origins of the Fino Lemon are unsure, it is believed to be derived from an old Spanish variety. The fruit is of good quality, juicy with a thin rind and high acid levels.
This is one of the oldest Italian varieties and one of my favorite types of lemons. It is of medium size and tender, juicy, very acid and of excellent quality. These fruits are available all year but mainly in late winter and spring.
Lemons come in a variety of shapes and sizes and colors. They can be very large or very small, with thick or thin, smooth or rough skin; but they all have one thing in common: their skin contains aromatic essential oils that are used in a variety of ways.
Selecting and Storing
Look for lemons that are thin-skinned since those with thicker peels will have less flesh and therefore be less juicy. Buy lemons that are fully yellow in color. Green tinges will give you a more acidic due to the fact that they are not fully ripened. Overmature fruits will be wrinkled, soft or have hard patches and dull coloring. Fresh lemons are available all year round.
Kept away from sunlight and at room temperature, lemons will last for up to a week. They can also be stored in the refrigerator crisper where they will keep for about four weeks.
Pour freshly squeezed lemon juice in ice cube trays until frozen, then place them them in plastic bags and store in the freezer. Dried lemon zest should be stored in a cool and dry place in an airtight glass container.
Tips & Tricks
- Lemons will yield more juice when they are warm. A great way to get more juice is to place the lemons in a bowl of warm water for several minutes or roll them under the palm of your hand on a flat surface.
- If your recipe calls for lemon zest, make sure that you use fruit that is organically grown. Most conventionally grown fruits will have pesticide residues on their skin. Wash and dry the lemon thoroughly. Use a zester, paring knife or vegetable peeler to remove the zest. Do not remove too much of the peel as the white pith underneath is bitter and should not be used. The zest can then be more finely chopped or diced if necessary.
Great lemon resources:
Hormel Foods - All About Lemons My tip
Wikipedia - Lemon
Music To My Ears
Timbaland ft. Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake - Give It To Me
I bet you'll be dancing to this while whisking away at the cream. I certainly was! Hottest trio in music biz at the moment.
85 g fresh unpeeled ginger - thinly sliced
zest of 2 lemons
250 ml whole milk
500 ml heavy cream
150 g sugar
pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
In a medium saucepan place the ginger slices and enough water to cover the ginger by about 2 cm and bring to a boil. Boil for approx. 2 minutes, then drain and discard the liquid.
In a blender or food processor, grind the sugar with the lemon zest.
Return the ginger slices to the saucepan, add the milk, 250 ml cream, lemon-sugar and a pinch of salt. Warm the mixture thoroughly, then cover and remove from heat. Allow to steep at room temperature for approx. an hour.
Rewarm the mixture, then remove the ginger slices with a slotted spoon and discard. In a separate bowl pour the remaining 250 ml cream and set a fine strainer on top.
In another separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Using a tablespoon add some of the warm ginger-lemon mixture into the yolks, whisk and then add another tablespoon of the warm mixture. Do this until the eggs have tempered, then gently pour in the remaining warm mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly. Then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Over a medium heat stir the mixture constantly with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir. Do this until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer into the cream and stir well. Stir until cool over an ice bath.
Chill the mixture thoroughly - at least 6 hours if not overnight - in the refrigerator, then make the ice cream according the the instructions of your ice cream maker.
Chop up some fresh strawberries and add a small dash of honey. Mix well and top the ice cream with a nice helping of strawberries.
Tangy, zingy and refreshing. This is such a perfect dessert after a big meal. It works like a digestive and I am sure seconds are always allowed. I was unsure how my boys would take to the flavors of this ice-cream, but Soeren straight away loved the lemony refreshing flavor the ice cream offered. Tom was unsure with the first helping but by his second helping he too was raving about the combination. For my fellow Indians (and those who have tried it) to me, I found the flavors slightly reminded me of Kulfi. Just perfect.
A perfect reminder for you to send me your scrumptious ice-cream creations for July's MM - Scream For Ice Cream
Deadline is July 4th!
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