Friday, March 19, 2010


Recipe and variations from Charlotte Culinary Expert Heidi Billotto
As seen on WBTV, Saturday March 20, 2010
The Morning Show with Kristin Miranda

For the basic lemon curd:
¾ cup butter
½ cup sugar
Zest of two lemons ( or any other citrus)
½ cup lemon juice ( or any other citrus juice)
6 eggs (or an equivalent amount of egg substitute)

Combine the butter, sugar, lemon zest and juice together in a saucepan over medium heat till warm and melted. Beat eggs until light and fluffy. Temper eggs with butter mix then return to the pan and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon until thick. Cool to make lemon curd.
Store curd in canning jars or plastic refrigerator containers. To serve, spoon into tart shells and top with a dollop of whipped cream or a fresh berry for a Spring time lemon tart; spread on slices of toasted pound cake and top with mixed Spring or Summer berries; or use as a brunchtime spread for taosted English muffins

Variations on the theme:
For lemon mousse: Whip 2 cups heavy cream until stiff. Fold whipped cream into cooled curd to make mouse. Spoon mousse into stemmed glasses and top or layer with fresh berries for an easy lemon parfait.

For lemon semifreddo: (this variation on our theme is my take on a dessert served at Aria Tuscan Grill, Uptown Charlotte’s newest Italian themed restaurant located in Founders Hall. Thanks to chef Bill Schutz for the inspiration!)
Make lemon mousse as directed above. Line a square cake pan with plastic wrap, leaving enough wrap to hand over the edges of the pan. Spread the lemon mousse in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for 4-5 hours or best overnight. The mixture will not get as hard as ice cream but will firm up in the freezer. Just before serving. Lift the semifreddo out of the pan using the plastic wrap, cut into squares and serve topped with fresh berries and a drizzle of limoncello, a sweet rich Italian lemon liqueur.

This recipe was given to me by Luisa Amadio, who along with her husband Rudy owns Dolce Italian Ristorante on East Blvd. and now Rudy’s Italian Restaurant & Bar in the Shops at Piper Glen on Rea Rd. in south Charlotte.

Zest or peeled rind of 12 lemons
½ gallon of Everclear or vodka
½ gallon of simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water boiled down to form a syrup)

Place the zest in the liquor and allow to marinate for 8-10 days. Strain and dispose of zest. Blend infused liquid with the simple syrup. Adjust sugar to taste. Transfer to pretty bottles and decorate for gift giving.

My dear friends at Passion 8 Bistro in Ft. Mill - Jessica and Luca Annunziata, make a variations of limoncello with all different typs of fruit - figs for figcello, fresh Carolina peaches for peachcello - try your luck with eh bountyh of local fresh frut this Spring and Summer and do the same or just visit Dolce or Passion8 for a taste of their homemade elixirs! - Yum!!!

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