Zest up your summer with lemons

Lemons are a summertime staple that help us beat the heat in all sorts of ways.

Freshly squeezed: From lemon salad dressing to lemon pie, there are plenty of possibilities to cook with lemon this summer.

By Donna Zitter Bordelon

A friend of mine lost his job at the lemon factory. He couldn’t concentrate. Just joking!

Lemons are a summertime staple that help us beat the heat in all sorts of ways.

LEMON DRESSING

Grated peel of 2 lemons

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/8 tsp. Sriracha sauce

1/2 cup lemon juice

2/3 cup canola oil

1/2 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. dry mustard

2 Tbsp. honey

Combine all ingredients in a jar or bowl. Shake or stir until well blended.

Let stand at room temperature for at least one hour. Refrigerate. Serve over your favorite salad.

A cold salad with refreshing lemon dressing leaves some room to indulge in one of the following treats — without too much guilt.

LEMON AND WHITE CHOCOLATE PIE

1 pie crust (Your favorite homemade recipe or ready-made frozen crust, browned in a 450-degree oven for 9–11 minutes)

Filling:

1 cup sugar

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

2 Tbsp. flour

1 cup water

2 egg yolks, beaten in a heat-proof cup

1 Tbsp. butter

½ tsp. grated lemon peel

¼ cup lemon juice

1 cup white chocolate chips or white baking bar, chopped

1 package cream cheese (8 oz.), softened

Topping:

1½ cups whipping cream

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup sliced almonds

Combine sugar, cornstarch and flour in a medium saucepan. Mix well.

Gradually stir in the water until smooth. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove pan from heat. Stir about ¼ cup of hot mixture into the egg yolks, and blend well, then return this yolk mixture to the saucepan. Cook over low heat until mixture boils. Reduce heat. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in butter, lemon peel and lemon juice.

Transfer 1/3 cup of this hot filling to a small saucepan. Cool remaining lemon mixture 15 minutes. Add vanilla chips into hot filling in small saucepan, and stir over low heat just until the chips are melted.

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy.

Add melted vanilla chip mixture, and beat until well blended.

Spread over the bottom of the cooled crust.

Spoon lemon mixture over cream cheese layer.

Refrigerate 2–3 hours or until set.

In a small bowl, beat whipping cream until soft peaks begin to form. Add the sugar gradually and continue to beat the cream until stiff peaks form.

Spoon over pie and garnish with sliced almonds.

These are refreshing treats for those hot, sultry, summer days ahead.

ICY LEMON CUPS

5 lemons, use as shells, halved

Zest from 2 lemons

¾ cup fresh lemon juice

3½ cups water

1¼ cups sugar

¼ cup gin or vodka, optional (adults only)

Mint leaves for garnish.

Cut lemons in half, and juice them. Scrape the zest from 2 lemons.

Slightly trim off the end of each lemon cup so it sits flat.

Scrape out any excess pulp from lemon halves.

Put all empty lemon “cups” on a plate and refrigerate.

In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the sugar/water to a boil and gently boil for 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and zest. (If using, add the optional gin/vodka.)

Transfer the liquid to a heat-resistant bowl, and allow it to cool to room temperature.

Place the bowl in the freezer until the mixture begins to freeze. Whisk, return to freezer and whisk again after 30–45 minutes freezer time.

Break up/scrape the ice, using a fork, until it becomes fluffy.

Spoon lemon ice into prepared lemon “cups.” Cover and freeze until ready to eat. (Freeze extra lemon ice in paper cups/popsicle molds.)

Garnish with mint leaves when ready to serve.

Eat well, live long, enjoy!

(Ques­tions or tips can be sent to Donna Zit­ter Bor­de­lon at WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the Times, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002)

Don’t forget:

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