Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lemon Curd Parfaits, and Candied Tangelos

Is it okay with everyone if we jump ahead to dessert, and then later we'll go back to the rest of the menu? Yes? Yes. Who turns down dessert when it's offered? Especially when it involves lemon curd, pound cake, and homemade whipped cream topped with candied tangelo rinds, right? Here we go.

Lemons. They're so bright and sunny, they make you think of Summer. But really, like the other citrus fruits, they're a Winter treat! I have to admit I used to feel pretty indifferent toward the tart little things, but since marrying into a family of lemon-lovers, I've converted in a pretty big way. So now when these Winter months come around, I hit them up for some vibrant flavor.

With that said, let's make some lemony dreams.

Lemon Curd Parfaits adapted from a recipe by Mary Corpening Barber and Sara Corpening Whiteford 
Serves 8-10
6 eggs
6 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (takes about 5-6 lemons)
2 pinches kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cups cold heavy cream
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 delicious pound cake

To Make the Lemon Curd 
Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and granulated sugar in the top pan of a double boiler or in a medium metal bowl until well mixed. Set over a saucepan filled with 2 inches of simmering water over medium heat. Add the lemon juice and kosher salt. Cooker, whisking constantly, until thickened, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until smooth.

Using a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture into a medium-mesh sieve set over a bowl. Strain the mixture into the bowl, pressing the back of the spatula. (Do not skip that step! Trust me!) Cool slightly at room temperature, then refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

Combine the cream and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. The cream should slowly fall forward when lifted with a whisk. Alternatively, use an electric hand mixer. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the chilled lemon curd, then fold in half of the remaining cream (reserving what's left for topping the parfaits.)  Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

Assembling the Parfaits
Gather together the pound cake, lemon curd, whipped cream and your favorite wine glasses or dessert dishes. Take the pounds cakes and crumble the heck out of them into a medium-sized bowl. Alternately layer the crumbled pound cake and lemon curd into the glasses and then top with whipped cream. Add a garnish of your choice, such as candied tangelos! (Recipe follows.)
Tangelos have a gorgeous dark orange color that brings a lot of life to an otherwise bland parfait palate.

Candied Tangelos
Makes about 24 slices

3 tangelos
3 cups sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
3 cups water

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Using a mandoline or very sharp serrated knife, cut tangelos into thin slices. Combine sugar and water into a heavy saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a solid boil, stirring the mixture to dissolve sugar.
Drop tangelo slices into the water and bring to a second boil. Remove from heat onto the lined cookie sheet, sprinkle lightly with extra sugar, and let cool to room temperature.

To Make Curled Tangelo Rinds
Make a diagonal cut through one part of a candied tangelo slice. Open up the slice and remove the insides leaving only the rind. Shape into a curl and pierce with a toothpick to hold its form. After several minutes, remove the toothpick and place curl over the rim of your parfait glass!
Piercing the rind with a toothpick will help it to eventually hold its own curl. 

Taste, taste, taste! :)


  1. Beautiful! I could eat the pictures they look so good.

    1. Awwwww! Thank you, Paul! I actually did one photo shoot of them and just wasn't satisfied. Then I candied the tangelos and re-shot the parfaits the next day with their new adornment. So glad I did.