'Concert of lemon flavours and fragrances' – beignets with lemon cream

  • Dessert
  • medium
  • 4
  • 2 hours 30 minutes, plus overnight drying

PT2H30M

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Ingredients

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Imperial

Dehydrated lemon slices

  • 1/2 lemon, cut into 4 thin slices
  • 100ml of sugar syrup

Beignets

  • 100ml of water
  • 50g of butter
  • 100g of 00 flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 pinch of salt

Custard filling

  • 250ml of whole milk
  • 1/4 vanilla pod, seeds only
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 40g of caster sugar
  • 20g of plain flour
  • 1/2 lemon, zest only
  • lemon juice, to taste

Lemon cream

Caramelised sugar

  • 1 dash of water
  • 200g of caster sugar

Lemon caramel

Lemon fritter

  • 450g of self-raising flour
  • 500ml of milk
  • 2 egg whites, whisked into soft peaks
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into 4 slices
  • plain flour for dusting
  • caster sugar for dusting
  • 500ml of extra virgin olive oil

To serve

1
Begin by preparing the dehydrated lemon slices a day in advance. Dip the lemon slices in sugar syrup until evenly coated, then arrange across a tray and dry overnight in a dehydrator set to 65°C
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into 4 thin slices
  • 100ml of sugar syrup
2
To make the crème pâtissière for the beignet filling, bring the milk to the boil with the vanilla seeds and pass through a sieve. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until light and creamy and sift in the flour, gently folding the mixture together
  • 250ml of whole milk
  • 1/4 vanilla pod, seeds only
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 40g of caster sugar
  • 20g of plain flour
3
Gradually mix in the hot milk and stir to combine, then transfer the mixture back into a pan and stir gently over a low heat for 5 minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool, stirring occasionally. Cover with cling film and transfer to the fridge until required
4
For the lemon cream, bring the milk to the boil with the lemon zest and vanilla seeds, then remove from the heat and leave to cool completely
  • 50g of milk
  • 2 lemons, zest only
  • 1/2 vanilla pod, seeds only
5
Meanwhile, make the caramelised sugar. Pour the water and sugar into a wide-based pan and place over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved
  • 1 dash of water
  • 200g of caster sugar
6
Once dissolved, increase the heat and boil the sugar (without stirring) until the temperature reaches 132°C. Working quickly, remove the pan from the heat and drizzle the sugar into rough square shapes over baking parchment and leave to cool and set
7
To finish the lemon cream, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and yoghurt together in a bowl and mix through the cooled milk mixture. Transfer to a pan and bring up to 84°C, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens with a smooth custard-like consistency. Leave to cool and transfer to a squeezy bottle
8
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper
9
For the beignets, bring the water to the boil and add the butter and a pinch of salt. Remove from the heat and let the mixture stand for 2 minutes, then sift in the flour while whisking vigorously. Place back over a medium heat and simmer gently until thickened, then remove and leave to rest
  • 100ml of water
  • 50g of butter
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 100g of 00 flour
10
Once the mixture is warm but not hot add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing the first egg yolk in completely before adding the next one. Transfer the beignet batter to a piping bag and pipe 2cm balls of dough onto the baking tray. Bake for approximately 5 minutes, then remove and leave to cool
11
Meanwhile prepare the filling for the beignets. Mix 120g of the crème pâtissière with the lemon zest and lemon juice, transfer to a piping bag and set aside
12
Preheat a deep-fryer to 145°C
13
For the lemon fritters, whisk the self-raising flour and milk together until combined and fold in the egg whites. Dust the lemon slices in a little flour and dip into the fritter mixture, then deep fry until golden brown. Drain any excess oil on kitchen paper, then roll lightly in sugar to coat
  • 450g of self-raising flour
  • 500ml of milk
  • 2 egg whites, whisked into soft peaks
  • 500ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into 4 slices
  • plain flour for dusting
  • caster sugar for dusting
14
For the lemon caramel, dissolve the sugar and lemon juice together in a heavy-based frying pan over a high heat. Stir in the honey and reduce for approximately 15 minutes to form a golden caramel
15
Once the beignets have cooled make a small hole in the middle of each one and pipe in a generous quantity of filling. Pipe any remaining filling across the top half of each beignet to cover
16
When ready to serve, slice a small section off the bottom of each lemon to make a stable base. Place on serving plates and fill with the lemon cream
  • 4 lemons, tops sliced off and flesh removed
17
To serve, slice a small section off the bottom of each lemon to make a stable base and fill with the lemon cream. Place one in the centre of each plate and garnish the lemons with fritters, dehydrated lemon slices and mint leaves. Spoon over a little lemon caramel sauce and arrange the sugar squares and beignets across the palte. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately
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