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Winter is the season to savor citrus! Lucky for us, these juicy and nutritious fruits are at the peak of their flavor and just the right remedy for this long, cold winter.
Citrus fruits are so versatile in cooking, and their qualities can enhance both sweet and savory dishes. It is little wonder why they have become kitchen staples. Citrus may be added to vinaigrettes to replace some of the vinegar, to marinades to serve as a meat tenderizer, to vegetables, sauces and soups as a boost of flavor, or simply, enjoyed on their own. You’ve got a good list to choose from: oranges including navel, blood and mandarins; tangelos; grapefruits; Meyer lemons; limes and kumquats are just a handful.
Today I’m utilizing three fruits in the list – lemons, limes and oranges to bring you a simple to prepare Key Lime Pie, French-inspired Lemon Madeleines, and a crisp and tangy Citrus Salad. Enjoy!
Key Lime Pie
This recipe was given to me years ago from my friend and pastry chef, Jennifer Valo. “This creamy pie has a nice tart flavor, and it’s not too sweet. It’s got great balance,” she said.
9-inch prepared graham cracker crust
3 cups sweetened condensed milk
½ cup sour cream
¾ cup Key lime juice
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
Heat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, combine condensed milk, sour cream, lime juice and zest. Mix well and pour into graham cracker crust.
Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, until tiny pinhole bubbles burst on the surface of pie. Do not brown! Chill pie thoroughly before serving. Garnish with lime slices, more zest and whipped cream if desired.
(Recipe by Jennifer Valo)
Ahh… sweet, buttery Madeleines. These little French-inspired cakes are so delicate and airy, a refreshing treat after a few holidays of chocolate, sprinkles and salted caramel.
1 madeleines pan
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup vanilla yogurt
Confectioners sugar for dusting
Heat oven to 325 F. Lightly coat pan with baking spray. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and baking powder.
In a medium bowl, combine sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, egg, egg yolk and butter. Stir in flour mixture, lemon juice and yogurt, mixing just until blended.
Using a tablespoon, fill pan cavities with rounded tablespoon of batter. Bake 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned.
Cool 2 minutes in pan. Invert onto cooling rack and cool completely. Wash and prepare pan; repeat with remaining batter. Dust with confectioners sugar just before serving. Makes 32 cookies.
(Recipe from Nordic Ware)
A light and refreshing salad with just the right balance of tartness and sweetness. The chopped celery and sugary pecans lend a nice crunch, and can we talk about those colors? The combination is sure to chase away the winter blues!
Makes 4 -6 servings.
½ head iceberg lettuce, chopped
½ head romaine lettuce, chopped
½ head bibb lettuce, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3 mandarin oranges, sliced
2 blood oranges, sliced
1 cup candied pecans
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
¾ cup oil
For the dressing, whisk together all ingredients. Chill in refrigerator while preparing salad.
To prepare the citrus, slice fruit into ¼ inch pieces. With a sharp knife cut away the rind and pith.
On a large platter, arrange lettuces, celery, green onions, and oranges slices. Sprinkle on pecans. Drizzle with dressing.
(Recipe source unknown)