My friend Lura lives in California and she has lemon trees right in her back yard. In fact they have a whole orchard of all different kinds of citrus trees . . . lemons, pomelos, grapefruits, oranges, kumquats . . . you name it, they have it and they only have to walk outside their door to get it. I can imagine it must smell heavenly when they are all in bloom.
I have often heard of a variety of Lemon, called Meyer Lemons. I've never had occasion to taste them, but I hear that they are thinner skinned and less acidic than most varieties of lemon. Perhaps one day I will have the opportunity to see for myself.
In the meantime, I make do with the ordinary variety that shows up in my local shops. I always buy lemons when I go to the grocery store. I use them a lot in my cooking. A small squeeze here, or a small squeeze there, salad dressings, cakes, cookies, icings, a small wedge in my mineral water . . .
And these totally delicious Lemon Friands. About four bites of the most heavenly little cakes in the world . . . just four . . . little . . . buttery . . . bites . . .
Makes 10 to 12
These delicate little almond cakes topped with a delicious swirl of lemon curd are absolutely delightful! These would be great for an afternoon tea party, or . . . just because! Simply wonderful!!
1/2 cup plain flour (70g)
1 1/2 cups ground almonds (130g)
1/3 cup icing sugar, sifted (45g)
5 large egg whites
200g unsalted butter, melted and cooled (14 TBS)
the finely grated zest of one lemon
5 tsp of lemon curd
icing sugar to dust the tops of the finished cakes
Optional: Whipped cream, additional lemon curd
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Grease a 10 hole, or 12 hole friand pan really well. Set aside.
Mix the flour, ground almonds and sugar together in a bowl. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites with a fork until foamy. Add to the almond mixture along with the butter and lemon zest, stirring to combine with a wooden spoon. Spoon into the prepared pan, dividing the mixture equally amongst the holes. Top each friand with 1/2 teaspoon of lemon curd. Use a toothpick to swirl the lemon curd lightly through the batter.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove from the oven. Let sit for a few minutes before loosening with a knife and removing to a wire rack to finish cooling completely. Dust the tops with some icing sugar. You can serve these with some extra lemon curd for spooning and whipped cream if desired, but they are really delicious all on their own.