When Life Hands You Sicilian Lemons

Most of us buy fresh lemons, not only because we prefer to squeeze our lemon juice fresh but also for the added bonus of all that zest. Nevertheless, I like to keep some of the bottled stuff on hand just in case.

This is the best bottled lemon juice I’ve found, it doesn’t have that chemical aftertaste you often find with this product. Grown in the shadow of Italy’s Mount Etna, these organic Sicilian lemons benefit from the volcanic soil. They are hand picked, squeezed immediately and the juice is stored in glass bottles.

There is one recipe I always use bottled lemon juice for and it is perfect for summer. You can make it ahead and bring it out to wow your guests at the end of the meal.

Lemon Pots de Creme

1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk

1. Set the oven at 325 degrees. Bring a tea kettle of water to a boil. Set six ramekins or custard cups ( 1/2-cup capacity each) in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, yolks, lemon rind, and juice. Whisk in the cream and milk until the sugar dissolves.

3. Transfer the mixture to a large glass measuring cup or pitcher. Divide it among the ramekins. Pour the hot water into the baking dish at the edges so it comes about 2/3 of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Set a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the baking dish (do not seal the edges).

4. Bake the custards for 45 minutes or until they jiggle only lightly. Begin checking after 30 minutes; check every 5 minutes.

5. Transfer the custards to a large rack to cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. Garnish each with two strips of lemon rind or a fresh mint leaf.

via Tony Rosenfeld at www.boston.com

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