i will use a special kind of lemon for ROSE’S heavenly CAKES: Lemon Poppy Seed-Sour Cream Cake (page 41).
lemons, and many lemony citrus fruits, are foods that taste great regardless where you live. they grow on many diverse climates and soils, they travel well, chances are you can find good lemons at any supermarket.
but when a farmer in hawaii or a lady neighbor grow these in bounty, why buy a lemon?
my take will use the zest from Calamonsi, a kumquat like lemon, with incredible juice and just as incredible zest. no wonder, when i made my 7-cake wedding, the preferred cake was the Blueberry Swan Lake, containing Calamonsi in the cake and on the blueberry topping. in my opinion, Calamonsi tastes like any lemony citrus fruit you dream for when having cake.
i slice the fruit in half, then squeeze and strain the juice as if you would be squeezing a tiny orange. to get zest, peel off the membrane meat from the skin and discard, comes easy with your fingers, then run the zest in your food processor. i freeze both, either together or separately, of course in vacuum and at -20 oF for a long time.
i hope you all try this take, using your local lemony citrus zest. chances are, it will be the best cake out of 7 . . .
the last picture is a little holiday landscape from ear plugs.
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is there such thing as a bad lemon?
NOW, i feel truly guilty for all the years i discarded all my lemon and orange peels whenever juice was called for. i remember my mother, she would always save the peels of all sort of lemons, tangerines, oranges, pomelos, anything citrus. really, the uses are infinite, from cutting them in cubes and make a stir fry in place of meat or tofu, to finely minces to add a sour bittersweet tang to hamburger or pork hash, to just adding it to hot tea and honey to quickly go thru a cold.
here are some calamonsi lemons, the zest, chopped with sugar. i wish you can smell this, the aroma is even better than what the picture looks!
there are 3 ways i save my peels (and you must either get organic unsprayed fruit, or wash the fruit with hot soapy water and rinse well. you must wash off the bitter wax most all lemons and oranges are sprayed with to extend shelf life, otherwise you will be tasting wax instead of fruit):
1- prior squeezing the lemon or orange, with a sharp paring knife, cut a the zest part of the fruit (avoiding the white pith). i do this like peeling a potato or an apple in one long string, or like when making the Dazzling Lemon Roses. freeze in vacuum. citrus fruits that don’t have a bitter pith, like budah’s hand or pomelo, could be cubed and candied, or dried and used for stir fries!
2- the second method would be to keep the peels in limoncello or some other lemon or orange liquor.
3- the third method would be to run it in the food processor with sugar, the gratification is instant. keep this sugar airtight in a cool place away from light, or in vacuum, in the refrigerator or freezer. it keeps for ever. sugar is man’s best known natural preservative, now you have lemon sugar and can use it for all recipes calling for lemon zest and sugar. it also makes GREAT lemon cookies.