Twisted Citrus

gossipGentle Reader, this week there’s no time to chat because I have two big lemon recipes.

First is a pasta recipe adapted from a Barefoot Contessa dish.  It will look kind of unappetizing at the beginning but cooks into a gorgeous, silky sauce.  Also, it will splatter as it cooks, so use a screen.

Creamy Twisted Lemon Pastalemon cavatappiYield: 4 servings


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 or 3 cloves minced garlic

2 cups heavy cream

2 lemons

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 bunch broccoli

1-pound dried cavatappi pasta

½-pound baby spinach

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1-pint multi-colored small tomatoes, halved

Directions:garlic sauteHeat olive oil in medium saucepan on medium, add garlic, and cook for 60 seconds. Add cream, zest and juice from lemons, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken.

Meanwhile, cut broccoli in florets and discard stem. Cook florets in a pot of heavily salted boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain broccoli and run under cold water to stop cooking. Set aside.blanced broccoliCook pasta according to package directions in heavily salted water. When done, take out a cup of pasta water and set aside, then drain pasta and place it back into the pot. Immediately add cooked cream mixture and stir together over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until most of the sauce has been absorbed into pasta. Stir in 1/2-3/4 cup of reserved pasta water to help sauce cling to the pasta and give it a silky mouth feel.  Add spinach, Parmesan, tomatoes, and cooked broccoli and gently toss. Pour into large serving vessel, season to taste, and serve hot.pasta listThe next one is my take on a lemon icebox pie.  It has a vanilla wafer crust with lemon zest, and an unexpected, creamy topping.  It’s the perfect dessert to eat on the porch on a hot summer evening.porchTwisted Lemon Icebox Pie

Preheat oven to 325.

Crust:vanilla wafer crust50 vanilla wafers

3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

zest from 2 lemons

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup brown butter (melt butter then continue cooking, watching closely until the solids are caramel-brown and the butter smells nutty)

Put cookies, sugar, salt and zest into food processor or blender.  Run until the cookies are small uniform crumbs.  While the machine’s running, pour in butter and vanilla extract.

Place the crumbs into 9-inch springform pan and cover bottom and 2/3 of the way up sides.  Use a straight-sided glass to press it into even layer.

Filling:icebox pie2-14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk

1 & 1/4 cups strained lemon juice (from the 2 zested lemons and 4-6 more)

8 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon salt

Whisk filling ingredients until fully mixed and lightened in color, about 1 minute.  Pour into crust, place pan on cookie sheet and place in oven.  Cook for 25 minutes or until filling is mostly set and center is still a little jiggly.

Let pie cool on counter for 1 hour and then in fridge or freezer for at least 6 hours or overnight before removing from pan.  To de-pan, run knife around edge, then open pan slowly in case of stickage. 

Topping:sour cream1 & 1/2 cups sour cream

3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon salt

Whisk together and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours.lemon icebox pieTo serve:

Run serrated knife under very hot water before slicing.  Drizzle on a spoonful of topping.

Try to stay cool, and I’ll see you next week for a longer visit.ladies who lunch

Thanks for your time.

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