Citrus Time

The Food Union, Deborah Aspray, Motif Lifestyle Images
The Food Union, Deborah Aspray, Motif Lifestyle Images
The Food Union, Deborah Aspray, Motif Lifestyle Images
Apologies for the lengthy time between posts - as per usual life and work gets in the way of the fun stuff. I've been planning and working on this post for what seems like months so if I don't get on with it it will be summer and totally out of season.

This year my little lemon tree finally made an effort and produced half decent fruit with which to cook with. In past years it's only been able to produce a few small lemons, which have been useful for my regular G&T in the garden but thats about it. So in early autumn it was time for a change of scene for the lemon tree, which is now situated on the sunny side of the house against a wall. It appears a few short months in sunnier climes have made a big difference to lemon production. So roll on next year - I'm expecting a bumper crop.

The Food Union, Deborah Aspray, Motif Lifestyle Images

Over the last few year Limoncello has become one of my favourite liquers to drink and cook with. You can't beat the full on lemony taste. For this post I've been experimenting with some cocktail recipes using my homemade limoncello and think these are some of the best so far. Mind you I will be undertaking further testing this summer so watch this space for more taste sensations.

Recipe by Sally Courtney - The Food Dept
1 c sugar
½ c water
6 organic lemons
700ml bottle vodka
1 extra lemon, needed after 2 weeks when bottling the recipe

Combine the sugar & water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a simmer & cook for 5 mins.

Using a mircoplane zest 6 lemons into a large jug. Juice the lemons & combine with the zest. Stir the sugar syrup into the zest & juice while the syrup is still warm but not hot. Add the bottle of vodka & stir well.

Using a funnel decant the Limoncello into clean, glass bottles & store in a cool dark place for 2 weeks for the flavour to develop, give the bottle a shake every few days.

Just before bottling the Limoncello, cut strips of lemon zest from the extra lemon with a vegetable peeler & finally julienne them. Blanch in boiling water & place in clean bottles. Strain the Limoncello to remove the grated zest, pour into bottle & seal.

Label the Limoncello with a tag suggesting it is serve straight from the freezer, & serve in chilled shot glasses after a long lazy lunch.

Makes 1.2 litres

Recipe by Jeanne Kelly - Cooking Light
8 lemon rind strips
8 tbspns Limoncello
4 tspns fresh lemon juice
1 X 750ml bottle brut Champagne, chilled

Roll up each strip of lemon rind; place 1 in each Champagne flute. Add 1 tablespoon liqueur and ½ teaspoon juice to each glass. Divide Champagne evenly among glasses. Serve immediately.

Serves 8

Adapted from a recipe by Angie Rayfield
2½ tbspns orange vodka
1 tbspn limoncello
1 tbspn Aperol or Campari
4 tbspns fresh orange juice
lemon for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with crushed ice, & shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass & top with extra orange juice. To finish float a lemon slice on the drink.

Serves 1

The Food Union, Deborah Aspray, Motif Lifestyle Images

This recipe is a winner whether it's hot or cold. Great for a picnic, and tastes even better the next day once the flavours develop a bit.

Recipe by Lauraine Jacobs - Cuisine Magazine
2 organic chickens, each cut into 8 portions (reserve the backs for making stock)
½ c black olives
½ c green olives
3 tbspns diced preserved lemon peel (flesh discarded)
2 lemons, cut into wedges
½ c rosemary leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbspns extra virgin olive oil
2 tbspns good quality balsamic vinegar
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
chopped parsley to garnish

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the chicken portions in a large roasting dish. Toss with the olives, preserved lemon, lemon wedges, rosemary leaves, salt and pepper, olive oil and vinegar until well mixed.

Place in the oven and roast for 25 minutes, turning occasionally. Add the tomatoes and continue to roast for another 20 minutes. Check to ensure the thighs are cooked well. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes then transfer to a large serving platter.

Serve immediately or, if taking to a picnic, place in a covered dish and refrigerate until needed. Serve hot or at room temperature, sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Serves 6 - 8
The Food Union, Deborah Aspray, Motif Lifestyle Images

How good do violets look with this cake - so simple and elegant. Definitely a cake for ladies who lunch or take afternoon tea.
Recipe by Sue Doeden - All About Food
170 g butter
2 c white sugar
4 large eggs
¾ c Greek-style honey flavoured yoghurt
2 tbspns grated lemon zest
⅓ c freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ c milk
3 c all-purpose flour
2 tspns baking powder

Lemon Glaze
1 cup sifted icing sugar
1 to 2 tbspns freshly squeezed lemon juice

Pre heat oven to 165ºC. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 8 to 10 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, add yoghurt and lemon zest.

In a separate bowl combine the lemon juice and milk. In a second bowl sift flour and baking powder together. Add dry ingredients in portions to the butter/sugar mixture, alternately with liquid mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix just until all ingredients are blended together. Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan. 

Bake for about 1 hour or until cake tests done. Cool in pan 10 to 15 minutes. Invert onto cooling rack and cool completely. When cake is cool dust with icing sugar or drizzle with lemon glaze, if desired.

Lemon Glaze
In a small bowl, mix enough juice into the sifted icing sugar to create a consistency that will drizzle and flow over the cake.

Makes 10 servings

The Food Union, Deborah Aspray, Motif Lifestyle Images

This is my "go to" recipe for morning and afternoon tea, when time is short but I need to magic up something scrumptious in a hurry. I don't know anyone that doesn't like lemons - and you can even make these muffins gluten free by using gluten free flour/baking powder. Whats not to love!

Recipe by Alison Holst
2 c self raising flour
¾ c sugar
75g butter
1 c milk
1 egg
grated rind of a large lemon
¼ c lemon juice
¼ c sugar

Pre heat oven to 200ºC. Line muffin tins with baking paper or grease & flour muffin tins.

Mix flour and first measure of sugar in a large bowl. In another bowl, melt butter, add milk, egg, lemon rind and beat to combine. Add liquids to dry ingredients, mixing just enough to combine. Spoon mixture into muffin tins and baker 10 -12 minutes.

Stir lemon juice and sugar together, without dissolving the sugar and drizzle this mixture over the hot muffins. Leave in trays a few minutes, but remove before sugar/juice mix hardens and sticks to tins.

Makes 12.


 All Images © Deborah Aspray - Motif Lifestyle Images Ltd 2013


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