Lemon Drops

Inspired by one of Jennie’s From Scratch entries, I made a lemon cake with a fluffy white frosting (recipes below) for the October birthdays in John’s family (I know, lemon isn’t very autumnal, but until this weekend autumn wasn’t either).

Jennie posted an easy microwave lemon curd recipe, which I want to try sometime, but I was already using a new cake recipe so for the filling I stuck with Paula Deen’s version, which I’ve made before.

Sorry, I don’t have play-by-play photos. I was flying solo, and I barely got the cake frosted before family arrived. That the frosting got made at all was something of a miracle. I forgot to lower the whirling whisk attachment into the bowl so when I poured the boiling sugar water into the mixer hundreds of droplets flew everywhere glazing me and everything else within a four foot radius with sparkling crystals. Suddenly, capturing the moment in a photo took a back seat to scrubbing down the kitchen and changing my shirt.

Lemon Cake

In fact, I didn’t think to photograph the cake until the next morning when half of it was gone. Maybe I shouldn’t have bothered with the photos, but at least in this picture you can see the layers.

For the cake layers I used a recipe from Cooks Illustrated. It was tender and moist, and unlike a lot of their recipes, fairly simple. Cooks also had a frosting and filling recipe, but they were both more complicated than I had time for. Besides, I already had a good frosting recipe from Cooking Light and, of course, Paula’s lemon curd.

Lemon Curd on Toast

Paula’s recipe makes a little extra so we had it on toast this morning. John made scrambled eggs with lobster left over from another party on Friday night (post still to come).

Lemon Coffee Cup

A little coffee in one of my favorite lemon colored coffee cups that my friend Rosie gave me and we had the near perfect breakfast.

Lemon Cake

A piece of leftover cake finally managed to hit breakfast right out of the park. Why should the first meal of the day be the only one without dessert?


Paula Deen’s Lemon Curd

3 large lemons
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted

Grate the zest from the lemons. Then juice the lemons.

Place the zest and the sugar in a food processor and process until combined.

Add the lemon juice and the eggs and process until smooth.

Slowly add the butter to this mixture, pulsing as you go.

Place the mixture in the top of a double boiler and cook over simmering water for about five minutes until thick. The mixture should coat a spoon. And when you move a spoon along the bottom of the pan a trail should form but fill in behind it. When it reaches this stage remove from heat or it will get clumpy.

To use as a cake filling the lemon curd will need to chill for about four hours. You can keep lemon curd in the frig for about 3 weeks in a jar with plastic wrap on it.

Fluffy Lemon Frosting (Adapted from Cooking Light)

4 large egg whites
½ tsp cream of tarter
Dash of salt
1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
½ tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Place egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in a large bowl.

Beat with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form.

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook without stirring, until candy thermometer registers 238 degrees.

Pour hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over egg whites, beating at high speed. Stir in vanilla and lemon juice.

I decided the cake recipe is way too long for this post, but if anyone wants it I’ll post it separately.


3 Responses to “Lemon Drops”

  1. October 29, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    I absolutely starving now. That all looks so delicious!

  2. 2 gunstreamgirl
    October 29, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    what a delightful, citrus-fueled weekend.
    no scurvy for you and yours this winter season!!
    can’t wait to try some of the recipes.

  3. November 4, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    Breakfast is my favorite time to have cake! Yours was beautiful. I think a layered cake is so pretty and impressive.

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