Lemons for Lamb, Cheesecake & Curd
With fresh lemons in abundance on the trees and in the shops and supermarkets, here are a couple of delicious festive recipes full of lemon flavour to give you inspiration for Easter or a seasonal Sunday lunch.
Spring Roast Lamb with Lemon, Garlic, Rosemary and Bay
1 Whole leg of Lamb, 3 Whole Bulbs of Garlic, 3 Large Lemons
Fresh Rosemary, Fresh Bay leaves, Salt & Pepper, Olive Oil
Rub the leg all over with olive oil, pierce the flesh all over with a small sharp knife, about 20 times,
Peel about 6 garlic cloves and slice length ways, remove the bitter core, roll each half into a bay leaf with a small sprig of rosemary and a thin strip of lemon zest, insert into the cut pushing in so just showing. Salt and pepper the joint to taste.
Place the lamb into a roasting tin and cover with foil, roast in a medium hot oven, 160c for about 2 hours, slice the remaining garlic bulbs in half along with the lemons and set aside to add to the pan during the cooking period.
Check the meat during cooking, draining off any excess fatty juices (keep for the gravy), after 2 hours remove the foil and add the halved garlic bulbs and the halved lemons to the pan with a few extra sprigs of rosemary, cover and return to the oven at 170c for a further 1 hour, removing the foil for the last 20 mins.
Remove from the oven and set aside to rest, squeezing the juice from the roasted lemons all over the joint.
Drain off the excess fat from any reserved meat juices and add to the roasting pan to make the gravy using all the cooking juices in the pan.
Serve with a roasted half garlic and lemon to each plate.
Best with roast potatoes, creamed leeks and carrots for a splash of colour.
Lemon Curd Cheesecake
½ pack of ginger biscuits (50g), ½ pack of digestives (50g)
100g Butter (melted), Cream cheese 200g, Double cream 100g, Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Lemon curd (see below)
Put the 2 biscuits into a blender and blitz together to a medium fine crumb remove and put in a large mixing bowl, add the melted butter and mix in well.
Prepare a round baking tin (preferably with a removable bottom) with a 2” side wall, butter well and line the side with grease proof paper if available.
Press the biscuit mixture into the bottom of the pan approx ½ inch thick, press well into the sides and place into the fridge for about 1 hour to set.
In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, cream and lemon juice together until smooth and thick, spread on top of the biscuit base smoothing out the top with a spatula or back of a large spoon.
Top off with a thick layer of lemon curd and a few gratings of lemon zest and put in the fridge to set for about 3 hours or overnight if not required that day.
100g Unsalted butter, 200g Sugar, 2 Eggs + 1 Egg yoke
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
Place a bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt the butter adding the sugar stirring all the time, a whisk rather than a wooden spoon adds a lighter texture to the final mix.
Beat the eggs and add to the bowl again stirring all the time (do not let the mixture get too hot at this stage), add the juice and zest and stir in well. Let the mixture simmer stirring occasionally until thick and creamy.
Meanwhile, sterilise a couple of jars by washing and rinsing in hot water and placing in the oven on a low heat (120c) for 30 mins
Put the mixture into the jars whilst hot and seal straight away, let them cool before putting into the fridge, enjoy any left over mixture straight away on toast or teacakes.