Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lemon Poppyseed Aftermath

A few thoughts:

The recipe produces a dense, buttery bread that much resembles pound cake. The ratios are such that the buttery taste does not overwhelm the lemon, which is nice. My favorite part was the effect of the glaze as it seeped into the loaf overnight after application. This would probably go well with a black tea. Small servings are advisable, given its richness -- I sliced the loaf into regular slices, and then cut each of those in half.

Zesting lemons is an enormous pain -- unless you invest ~$12-16 in a contraption called a Microplane (Microplane is the best known brand, but I believe others make this same item as well). You may have seen these in restaurants when someone asks if you want parmesan cheese on your pasta. They're a special type of grater for fine things like zesting citrus fruit or grating nutmeg. Instead of being a four-sided grater, they're long and flat, with a handle. The cutting holes are just the right shape to prevent whatever you're grating from hanging in the metal, which is great for when you want to zest directly into a mixture of something. Alternately, if you've got steady hands and a sharp paring knife, you can slice off the zest. I have never tried this myself, but I am sure it would work better than using my regular four-sided grater, as that tool claimed all my zest and refused to give it back. Just be sure to avoid the white part beneath the yellow, as that will make your resulting dish bitter.

Juicing lemons is fairly straightforward, though it's more difficult if your lemons are not as ripe as you'd like. It helps to vigorously roll your lemon on a kitchen counter or tabletop prior to slicing and juicing. Use your body weight to get the juices moving around in the fruit -- but don't lean too hard or you'll end up with juice all over yourself. You'll know you're succeeding when:
1. The lemon becomes softer when you squeeze it
2. The smell of the lemon becomes more apparent
Rachel Ray says you can pop a citrus fruit into the microwave for something like 10 seconds to "get the juices going," but it makes me nervous to put something so fresh into a microwave. So I say, rolling is better, but nuke in a pinch.

1 comment:

Molly said...

OMG I tried to cook dinner tonight. It was disastrous and I think I need your help!!