When I was little and had a sore throat my grandmother would always make me a cup of hot lemon tea. Her tea was simply a few lemon slices simmered in water. That wonderful tart tea always made my throat feel better …and so began my love for lemons. From then on, I associated lemons with feeling good. 🙂
Lemons contain bioflavonoids and antioxidants. Grated lemon peel, or the zest, contains the phytonutrient d-limonene. D-limonene is found only in the oil of the peel and not in the flesh or juice of lemons. Limonoids have a high bioavailability (meaning your body absorbs them easily) and have been shown to help fight several types of cancers. The juice of lemons slows oxidation on avocados, apples and bananas…proof of their power as an antioxidant.
To pick a good lemon choose one that is thin-skinned, heavy for its size and that feature peels that have a finely grained texture.
- Vitamin C: 31 mg
- Potassium: 80 mg
Lemons can be used in so many different ways. Fellow bloggers have recently written about lemons and their benefits. Ellie recently wrote about how lemons can curb your appetite and Sassa wrote about using lemon as a healthy start for her day. Me well…I have always used lemon for cooking but my favorite lemon use is in desserts. How do you like to use lemons?
Lemon Curd Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla; beat well. Whisk together flour and salt, and add to mixture, beating on low until combined.
Chill dough for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Form dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls on parchment-lined baking sheet.
Make a deep indentation in the center of each ball with your thumb. I use a cork, it the perfect size and I don’t have to deal with dough in my nails. Ha
Using a piping bag, fill center of each cookie with lemon curd.
Bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove from oven, and place on a wire rack to cool.
Once cookies have cooled, dust them with powdered sugar.
Yield: 3 dozen
Adapted from Ina Garten
3 lemons, zested and juiced
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
4 large eggs
- Using a zester, remove the zest of 3 lemons, being careful to avoid the white pith. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar.
- Cream the butter and beat in the sugar/lemon mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice. Mix until combined.
- Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees F, or just below simmer.
- Remove from the heat and cool or refrigerate.
These cookies are “little bites of heaven”. The cookie is light and buttery and the lemon curd is a wonderfully tart yet sweet and bursts with lemon flavor. You can’t help but go back for more 😀