Picked this up the other day from the chef at The Dorchester, in Mayfair, London…
The place is a bit stodgy for my tastes; however, I’m glad that I went because this dessert was a one-off for the evening… It’s very light on it’s feet, and could be used as an excellent palette cleanser in a multi-course dinner service. As for me, I now have my two deserts for this Thanksgiving: Made-from-scratch pumpkin pie (that’s a given), and Citronfromage.
The Chef’s slant on this was decidedly French, in keeping with the restaurant’s menu; but I made a few changes.
Chef's Note: A classic Citronfromage uses gelatin and raw eggs, both of which I wanted to avoid. So, in this recipe, we’ll be making a more of custard for the base and then folding in some whipped cream to create a stable base.
Melt butter in the top part of a double boiler over simmering water.
Beat eggs and sugar in a bowl until light and foamy.
Remove the butter from the heat,and then add the egg mixture to melted butter a couple of spoonfuls at at time… this is called tempering.
Return to heat and cook, while gently but constantly, stirring, until mixture becomes a custard, about 8 minutes.
Chef’s Note: The transition from liquid to custard happens rather quickly, so never leave the pan unattended. If you overcook the eggs, they will scramble.
Remove custard from heat and stir in lemon juice and grated zest. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature.
Whipped chilled cream until very stiff… We’re talking about one step away from making sweet butter.
Carefully fold lemon custard into whipped cream until just incorporated.
Chef’s Note: The folding process is to be accomplished very delicately. The goal is to incorporate the custard into the whipped cream without deflating the whipped cream.
Pour into 8 serving containers, cover and chill for at least 4 hours.
Preparation Tip: If you are planning to serve this at a big occasion; like Thanksgiving, it can be made the day before. Just make sure that you wrap the tops of the containers tightly with cling foil before placing them into the refrigerator.
Presentation Tip: I take some tempered chocolate and pipe it into random patterns on a piece of parchment paper, then place into the refrigerator, when they cool and harden, I place them on top of the Citronfromage. To be honest, I got that idea from the chef at the Dorchester.
Serving Tip: If you’re planning on one of those elegant 7-course meals, you could place a dollop of this on a nice spoon, and use it as a palette cleanser between courses.
Serving Tip: A dollop of fresh whipped cream, along with some candied lemon zest will make this dish stand out.