Summertime for me is about fresh and lively flavors. I'm always drawn to citrus tastes for desserts during this time of year. Vincenzo makes an incredible lemon cream that I adore. It was a favorite in the spring and summer at his restaurant in Chianti and is now also a favorite here in Minnesota when we cook with others.
This recipe is so simple with just a few ingredients. The secret is to make sure to have a food thermometer on hand to check your cream temperature as you're putting this lovely lemon cream together. This one is a recipe to try and enjoy during these hot, summer days.
Pair it with some fresh berries and perhaps a lemon pistachio biscotti (bonus recipe) for the perfect combination. We hope you love it!
3 fresh lemons (medium size)
30 ounces heavy cream (around 1 quart)
3/4 cup sugar
(Note: A food thermometer is needed for this recipe.)
Place the heavy cream and sugar in a medium saucepan and slowly warm over low to medium heat until the cream reaches a temperature of 167 degrees. Take off the heat and let cool slightly until the mixture reaches a temperature of 149 degrees.
While the mixture is cooling, zest the lemons and squeeze the juice into a small bowl. When zesting the lemon, take off all of the outer yellow peel, down to the white pith.
Once the cream reaches 149 degrees, stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest.
Pour the lemon cream into individual glass parfait dishes (the cream should fit in about 8-10 parfait dishes that are at least 4 ounces each). Let cool slightly (20 minutes). Place parfait glasses covered in plastic wrap in refrigerator.
The cream will set up and be ready to eat in 4-6 hours. This is best prepared the day before you plan to serve it. It can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
Recipe note: The lemon cream pairs well with fresh berries.
Lemon Almond and Pistachio Biscotti
½ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
¾ cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 lemon (zested)
¾ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. sea salt
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup roasted almonds (whole)
½ cup roasted pistachios (whole)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream together the butter and sugar. The mixture should be light yellow and smooth. Add the egg and beat well. Next add the vanilla and lemon extract, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
Zest the lemon and add to the dough. Add in the almonds and pistachios, mix well.
Add the flour 1 cup at a time, mixing well. You may need more or less flour depending on the humidity. The dough should not be too sticky. You should be able to handle it with your hands without sticking.
Separate the dough into three equal parts and form three logs of dough that are about 1½ inches wide and 10-12 inches long. Place on baking sheet that is covered with parchment paper.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. The cookies should be light golden brown.
Let cool for about 5-10 minutes.
Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.
Place the cookie logs on a cutting board and cut into individual slices about ½ inch wide (like slicing bread, except don’t use a sawing motion when cutting, use a sharp knife and cut in one motion down through the cookies). Place the cookies back on the baking sheet with one side down. Bake again for 8-10 minutes until they are just slightly brown.
Recipe note: These biscotti (cookies) are a variation of the traditional almond biscotti called cantucci made in Italy. They are not as hard, but are still great to dip in coffee or tea or serve with the lemon cream.