Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lemon Parfaits (Page 839)

RECIPE #1081

  • Date: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 -- 8pm
  • Location: Westerville, OH
  • Kitchen: Dave and Karen's House
  • Dining Companions: Dave, Karen H, Matty, Brad, and Deniz
  • Recipe Rating: A-

I made this dessert for dinner with my special gentleman's family some weeks back. I started by cooking lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolks and sugar to 170 degrees, whisking constantly. I then let the mixture cool. Meanwhile, I beat egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, and sugar. In theory I was supposed to beat them until they held stiff glossy peaks. However, I was using pasteurized egg whites (which the recipe indicated were an acceptable alternative) because I am quite paranoid about food safety and I didn't want to take the tiny chance of poisoning my in-laws with raw egg whites. The downside of pasteurized egg whites is that they don't whip up very well. After trying a whisk, an electric mixer, and an immersion blender with a whisk attachment, I gave up on my dream of stiff peaks. At that point I feared that the recipe was doomed. Instead of fluffy peaks, I had very soupy egg whites. But I plowed on! I folded the egg whites into the lemon mixture. Then I beat heavy cream to stiff peaks and folded the whipped cream into the lemon mixture. I spooned the mixture into glasses and froze them. Before serving I garnished with lemon zest. I was worried after the egg white snafu that this dessert was going to be a disaster. But, much to my surprise, it was delicious! Even the texture (which was certainly affected by my soupy egg whites) turned out lovely! The dessert was cool and creamy with a fantastic lemon flavor. Maybe it would have been even better had my egg whites whipped, but as it was it was a very successful dessert.

This recipe isn't online.

This weekend my special gentleman and I went to Tahoe with my best friend Emilee, her husband Brian, their toddler son Sam, my friend Chris, and his girlfriend Emily. We had a great time! It was intended as a ski trip, and my special gentleman did ski three days in a row. I am not much of a skier though -- I skied on Friday, but on Saturday I spent the day wandering around Tahoe with Emilee and Sam, and on Sunday I watched Sam so that his parents could go cross country skiing. It was a lovely, snowy weekend, and I enjoyed both being in the wintery wonderland outside and cozying up near the fire indoors. In the evenings we cooked dinner, ate together, and played games. It was a very relaxing vacation! Plus, Sam is endlessly entertaining -- he is about 22 months old and is talking in sentences, which is incredibly funny. His grammar is funny, his pronunciation is funny, the things he says are funny. It's impossible to spend 5 minutes with him without laughing. It was lovely having the whole day with him on Sunday. It was easy too -- he practically provided a babysitting instruction manual. At some point he delared, "I'm poopy. Change it." Then he marched into the room where the diapers were. After I changed him, he announced, "Wash hands," which I dutifully did. He also has excellent manners. At lunch I heard, "More beans please," "More chicken please," and my personal favorite, "Chocolate please."

After a nice weekend we are back in Berkeley, where we are still settling into a routine. Today I met up with my friend Mike to get some work done. We had a productive (and fun!) day. Now, it is off to bed!


Bette said...

Pasteurized eggs are all I use. The only thing about whipping them is that they require extra time. I usually add a little cream of tartar, put them in my Kitchen Aid with the whisk attachment and let 'em go.

In all the years I've been using them, I have always had exellent results.

Teena said...

Huh. The ones I had definitely wouldn't whip -- and it even said on the container that they shouldn't be used for meringue because they wouldn't whip well. Perhaps I should try another brand!