Lemon Cream, Lemon Cake and Summer Berries

11:30 am on 20 September 2010

This lovely refreshing dessert is quite versatile in the way it can be presented. Set the cream in a big glass bowl and scatter over some of the fruit before serving (serve the rest separately). Or serve the cream in individual glasses, topped with fruit. Yet another option is to serve the lightly sugared fruit in individual bowls alongside individual pots of the cream.

The cake is always served on the side, either sliced as is into fingers, or sliced and grilled, offering a contrast in temperature against the cold cream. Sometimes, to provide an additional element, I add lemon sorbet to the combination of lemon flavours. Both the cream and the cake can be made a day ahead.

Redcurrants have a short seasonduring summer. If they are not available, add extra blueberries or raspberries.

(Serves 6-8)

Ingredients

For the lemon cream

  • 500ml cream
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • 100 grams caster sugar
  • 1 whole egg, plus 3 egg yolks
  • 20 grams flour (1 tablespoon)
  • 1 lemon, juiced

For lemon cake

  • 270 grams flour
  • 5 grams (1 teaspoon) baking
  • powder
  • 5 eggs
  • 375 grams sugar
  • 150ml cream
  • 3 lemons, zested
  • pinch salt
  • 100 grams butter, melted

For the summer berries

  • 1 punnet strawberries, hulled (halved if large)
  • 150 grams (1 punnet) raspberries
  • 150 grams (1 punnet) blueberries
  • 150 grams (1 punnet) redcurrants,
  • stalks removed
  • a sprinkle of caster sugar
  • mint leaves

Method

To make the lemon cream, bring the cream to the boil, add the lemon zest and leave to infuse for 30 minutes.

Beat together the sugar, egg and egg yolks until very pale. Add the flour and lemon juice, and beat again. Strain the infused cream into the mixture and stir well.

Transfer to a saucepan and over low heat, bring the mixture just to the boil, whisking constantly. Pour into a bowl to cool, then cover with plastic film and refrigerate. Set aside until ready to serve.

For the lemon cake, begin by preheating the oven to 160°C and butter and flour a cake tin (24cm long x 8cm wide x 12cm deep).

Sift together the flour and baking powder into a bowl. 

Mix together the eggs, sugar and cream. Add the lemon zest, then the sifted flour and the salt, followed by the melted butter.

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Place in the oven and bake for about an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Place the cake on a rack to cool, then unmould. Set aside.

When ready to serve, mix together the strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and redcurrants and sprinkle with caster sugar.

Preheat the overhead grill of the oven. Slice the lemon cake and either toast on both sides, or leave as is.

Arrange the fruit on the top of the lemon cream andplace a mint leaf on top. Serve the lemon cake on the side.

Stephen Morris’s wine recommendation

The Gosset Celebris 1998 vintage champagne has lovely weight. Good acid freshness. Hints at lemon meringue. Clean and effortless to enjoy. And at a little over $200, you'd hope so.

For the rest of us, there is a new kiwi sparkling wine called -Te Hana. ("to shine" in Maori). Crisp, clean and fresh. Nice and no harsh hard edges. Good length. And in the supermarket for $18 - or less if on special - it will be my new "go to" value / everyday kiwi fizz.

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