This dessert is very light & refreshing. Ideal for summer. It’s easy to make and can mostly be done ahead of time. In fact it needs to be made in three distinct stages. Make the Lemon Cheese the day before; mix the cheese & cream the morning of the day you’ll be serving the dessert & do the brulee just before serving.
Stage #1 Make the Lemon Cheese (Lemon curd? I’ve never been able to tell the difference)
4 eggs lightly beaten
5 level tablespoons of sugar
4 oz butter
1) Zest the lemons (i.e. scrape off the yellow part of the peel) then juice them.
2) Melt the butter in a saucepan.
3) Add the lemon juice, zest and sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
4) Over medium low heat place the eggs into the mixture. Stir constantly with a whisk. Watch carefully & as soon as the mixture starts to thicken remove from the heat. Keep stirring. If it’s not thick enough put it back on heat very briefly.
(NOTE: For the faint of heart you can do the heating by placing the saucepan in a bain marie. This is just a larger pan half filled with simmering water. This method is safer as you are less likely to over cook the eggs.)
5) Let the thickened mixture cool and then transfer to a sterilized jar with a sealable lid. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
Stage #2 Make the mixture.
All of the Lemon Cheese
About 8 oz full (30-35%) cream
1) Put the cream in a large bowl and whip until stiff.
2) Gently fold the lemon cheese into the whipped cream. (Just like adding the egg whites to a soufflé.) Make sure it is well mixed.
3) Spoon the mixture into whatever serving pieces you will be using. (I use either medium sized ramekins or some tall heavy wine glasses, but any thing that has a wide top will do.) Make sure that you smooth the top of each serving.
4) Place the servings in the fridge until needed.
Variation: You can enhance this dessert by adding in a half of an apricot or peach that has been baked in a medium over (about 150C) for 30 minutes. To do this half fill your container with the cheese & cream mixture, and then gently place your piece of baked fruit on top. Add the rest of the mixture & smooth as before.
Stage #3 the brulee.
1) Bring your desserts out of the fridge and sprinkle the top of each with a nice, but fairly thin coating of sugar. Try to make the coating even.
2) Using a kitchen blowtorch melt the sugar on each dessert to make a brulee topping. (Note: I’ve tried a handy mans blow torch, but they’re too fierce. My sexy little kitchen thing works, but is a bit slow. I’m going to try & find a medium sized blowtorch that model maker’s use. I’m told that they are the happy medium.)
Alternate method: Use the grill (broiler) in your oven. If you’re going to try this way then put you desserts in the freezer about ½ hour before you want to make the brulee. Get the grill very hot. Prepare the desserts as before with the sugar. Place them on a tray & place under the grill. Watch carefully & remove as soon as the sugar melts.
3) Serve immediately. If you used your grill be careful as the top of the containers will be hot.