Tuesday, March 2, 2010

When life hands you lemons...pucker up!

Before I go off on my whole recipe/ramblings thing...I have to tell you about the most awesome website.  Is there anyone (who knows me) laboring under the misconception that I redesigned my blog myself?  Yeah...we all know how much patience I have for html right?  Its a miracle my computer wasn't sitting at the bottom of my pool after my attempts (all 95 of them) at building my own website.  My husband told me to find a smart kid and let them do it...so I did.  Or rather she found me.  She's the daughter of a high school friend (found on facebook of course).  I'm really excited to see what she comes up with.  I'm veering off the road though.  This website is called http://www.thecutestblogontheblock.com/ and it is the bomb!  The graphics are free and they have a lot to choose from.  Best of all it was EASY even for the technologically challenged like myself!

Now about these lemons...

I had a whole drawer full of lemons because A...I live in Florida, B...I know someone who has a very prolific lemon tree in their yard and C...I like them.    We had lemon chicken one night, blueberry lemon muffins for breakfast, lemon soup (avegolemeno), lemon in tea, lemon on pasta, lemonade...you get the picture.  I was even floating lemon slices in my bathwater and pretending like I was at a spa but that's another story. 

Not to be outdone by a piece of fruit, I finally decided that I'd get them all licked (figuratively speaking) so I hauled out the electric citrus juicer and went to town!  Fait accompli...4 cups of fresh squeezed lemon juice.  More than enough for what I had in mind!

I'd been on a jelly roll obsession for about a week but I'm not crazy about jelly.  It definately had to be filled with lemon curd...thick and sweet but with some real pucker factor.  I decided this would be a triple lemon sponge cake roll...lemon cake, lemon filling and lemon frosting.  It turned out to be a fine piece of work and quite delicious too!

There is a bit of a process to making this type of cake but it isn't difficult just time consuming.  I suggest making the lemon curd in advance and having it thoroughly chilled.  That way you aren't waiting on the filling to cool down when you're ready to assemble. 

Triple Lemon Sponge Cake Roll

-4 extra large cage free organic eggs, separated and at room temperature
-3 extra large cage free organic egg whites, at room temperature
-1/2 cup unbleached cane sugar (Florida crystals)
-3 tablespoons lemon zest*
-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
-1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
-1/8 teaspoon salt
-1 cup sifted cake flour (spoon sifted flour into measuring cup and level..do not scoop)
-1 recipe for Easy Lemon Curd (recipe follows)
-1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (divided) organic confectioner's sugar
-1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1-Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare 15 1/2 x 10 1/2x 1" jelly roll pan by lining with parchement or waxed paper.  If using parchment, brush with a little oil.  Set aside.  Lay a clean dish towel out onto a flat surface and use about 1 tablespoon of the powdered sugar to dust the towel.

2-Place all 7 room temperature egg whites in a large bowl and beat with electric mixer on medium speed until semi-firm peaks form. 

3-Place egg yolks into another large bowl and beat until thick.  Gradually beat in granulated sugar until mixture is thick and lighter in color. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon extract and salt; beat until well combined.  Gradually stir in sifted cake flour by hand until blended.  Make sure egg whites have not "fallen" (there will be liquid at the bottom of the bowl...if there is beat again with clean beaters until stiff peaks form).  Stir 1/4 of the egg whites into the yolk mixture.  Gently fold in the remaining egg whites.  Spread batter into prepared pan and bake until golden.  The top will spring back when lightly touched, about 15-20 minutes. 

4-When cake is removed from oven, immediately run a small knife around the edges to loosen from the pan.  Invert cake onto dusted kitchen towel.  Peel the paper off the bottom of the cake and roll up (starting at the narrow end) with the towel.  Place on cooling rack seam side down and cool completely.

5-Unroll cooled cake and trim crusty edges.  Spread chilled lemon curd on cake and roll back up (without the towel...duh!).  Place seam side down on platter.  Garnish with powdered sugar drizzle and extra powdered sugar for dusting.

Easy Lemon Curd

-3 extra large cage free organic eggs, room temperature
-1 extra large cage free organic egg white, room temperature
-1/2 cup unbleaced organic cane sugar (Florida crystals)
-1 tablespoon grated lemon zest*
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons organic potato starch
pinch of salt

1- Combine whole eggs and the extra egg white in bowl, stir well with a wire whisk.  Set aside.

2-In a small saucepan, heat lemon juice, potato starch and salt over medium high heat until just beginning to form bubbles around the sides (about 180 degrees).  Add the hot juice a little at a time to the egg mixture, stirring constantly.  Once all juice has been added, pour this mixture back into sauce pan and return to stove.  Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until thickend.  You MUST stir constantly.  Do not overcook or you'll end up with little white pieces of cooked egg in your curd...not pretty! 

3- Pour lemon curd out into a heatproof bowl.  Cover the top of the curd with plastic wrap (right on the surface) so that you don't get a "pudding skin".  Cool to room temperature before refrigerating.  Curd should be cold before using to fill cake.

4.  Combine remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar and enough lemon juice to make a "syrup" consistency.  Drizzle this frosting over finished cake. 

This cake is actually BETTER if it's made and then chilled overnight.  The cake absorbs moisture from the curd and the curd solidifies making the slices stay together when cut.

This cake is like eating sunshine!

Sorry about the lighting!

*Ordinarily buing organic lemons falls under that "hard skin" rule but when using the zest you should spring for organic.  Conventionally raised lemon peel tests postive for several different pesticides and fungicides.

(c)copyright Jill Anderson
The Homegrown Gourmet


  1. Use 'um if ya got 'um right?

  2. I'm not a baker, and totally respect anyone who can make a dish like this! Terrific pictures!

  3. Thanks! The lighting wasn't great on these...I was a little disappointed with that but I just use my 35mm digital. Sometimes I get some great pics with that little gadget and other times I don't. I have a suspicion it's NOT the camera on the ones that aren't so hot!

  4. This looks just great! I'm going to have to follow that recipe and try it out but I probably will not do it as well as you. I really love anything lemon. Thanks for posting this!

  5. You're welcome. It's actually a lot simpler than it looks. It is pretty much no-fail if you stick to a couple of basics.

    1. Always line the sheet pan with either parchement or waxed paper. If it's parchment, grease very lightly.

    2. Make sure to sprinkle the kitchen towel liberally with powdered sugar and roll the cake up while it's still warm.

    3. Let it cool completely before filling and make sure the lemon curd is cold when you fill.

    4. It's actually best if covered and refrigerated overnight before cutting.

    Glad you liked it...Thanks!

  6. I love lemons - wish I had enough to float in my bath!

    Since you're using homegrown lemons, show off your dish in our "Grow Your Own" roundup this month. To participate, find the details here:



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Fort Myers, Florida, United States