The citrusy, fresh flavor of lemon sparks up a whole range of dishes -- from cakes, cookies, pies and puddings to French toast, and from vegetables like green beans, broccoli and asparagus to vegetable frittatas, pork dishes, chicken entrees and pasta dishes. Add lemon to salad dressings, mayonnaise and breadcrumbs to spark their flavors.
This lemon pudding is one such delicious treat, on the sweet side of lemon. The lemon zest amps up the citrusy flavor higher than just juice would do. It's an easy and quick homemade dessert that's especially good as a springtime meal finale.
- 3/4 cup (scant) granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup lemon juice, fresh
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon lemon oil or extract, optional
- Garnishes, as desired
In a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together.
- Whisk in the milk until it's well-blended.
- In a cup or small bowl, whisk the egg and separate yolk until slightly beaten, then whisk the eggs into the milk mixture in the saucepan.
- Put the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mix is thickened and bubbly.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, butter and lemon oil or extract, if you are using it.
- Put the pudding through a strainer and then spoon into individual serving bowls.
- Garnish with mint, lemon slices, blueberries, nonpareils or whipped cream, as desired.
How to Zest Citrus Fruit
Using the zest of lemons, limes and oranges give intense flavor to the dish you're making. There are several ways to do this cooking feat and several tools you can use.
First, choose the right tool. A micro plane is a special tool that is best to use if you want finely grated zest that you are going to mix into the dough. A paring knife or vegetable peeler will give you larger pieces of zest and work fine if that fits your purpose. You only need a citrus zester for making fancy shapes that are used for garnish.
Wash the fruit thoroughly, just as you would if you were going to eat the skin. With any tool you use, be sure to avoid cutting into the path, just under the skin of the fruit. It is bitter-tasting and not a good addition to any dish.
With a micro plane or vegetable peeler, use a little pressure as you drag the tool down the fruit to remove the zest. If you are using a paring knife, carefully cut into the skin and cut between the skin and the pith. Both the peeler and the knife make large pieces of zest; if you want smaller ones, just cut to the desired size. If you're using a zester, just drag it down the fruit.
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