January 25, 2012

Citrus season: Time to practice tart arts

It's prime time for lemons, oranges, limes and grapefruits, so add a little sunshine to your cooking.

By MARY-LIZ SHAW, McClatchy Newspapers

(Continued from page 2)

Citrus with food
click image to enlarge

Clementine slices cook on the bottom of this clementine cake, but the finished product is then inverted, showing off the candied citrus, and slices are topped with a dollop of cheesecake cream.

McClatchy Newspapers

cup granulated sugar

6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces

Pinch of salt

Grate 1 tablespoon zest from one grapefruit; set aside. Squeeze 6 tablespoons juice from zested grapefruit; set aside.

With a sharp knife remove peel and white pith from other grapefruit, exposing flesh. Slice between membranes to release grapefruit sections for garnish. (If necessary, slice large sections lengthwise in half.) Cover and refrigerate.

In medium-size, heavy, nonreactive saucepan, combine egg yolks and sugar and whisk until well blended. Whisk in grapefruit juice, zest, butter and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, until curd thickens enough to coat back of spoon, about 10 minutes.

If desired, strain curd through fine strainer into medium bowl. Let cool, stirring occasionally, then cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or until chilled.

Adapted from Godiva.com.

CLEMENTINE CAKE WITH CHEESECAKE CREAM

Servings: 12

12 seedless clementines (divided)

2¼ cups superfine sugar (divided)

1¼ cups water

½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature, plus extra for greasing

Zest and juice of 1 lemon (divided)

3 eggs

1 package (10 ounces, 2½ cups packed) blanched ground almonds

¼ cup farina (Cream of Wheat)

1 small tub (7 ounces) Greek yogurt

Cheesecake cream (see recipe)

Thinly slice 5 clementines, rind on, horizontally, discarding ends.

In a small pan, combine 1¼ cups sugar with the water and bring to a simmer. Add clementine slices, cover and cook until slices are tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, grease a 10-inch springform pan and line with parchment.

Use a slotted spoon to lift out clementine slices from syrup. Arrange slices neatly over bottom of springform pan, overlapping where necessary. Zest remaining 7 clementines. Divide zest in two and reserve one half for cheesecake cream. Squeeze juice from 4 of the zested clementines.

Stir clementine juice into syrup in pan. Boil gently uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or to desired thickness -- up to 30 minutes if you prefer a thicker sauce. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Beat remaining 1 cup sugar with the ½ cup butter, lemon zest and half of the clementine zest until pale. (Reserve lemon juice for cheesecake cream.) Beat in eggs one at a time.

Peel 3 remaining zested clementines and separate into segments. Place segments in food processor and process until pulpy. Stir pulp into butter-sugar mixture, along with ground almonds, farina and yogurt. Mix until smooth.

Spoon batter carefully over candied clementine slices in springform pan. Bake in preheated oven until a skewer inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool cake in pan on rack. As cake bakes, make cheesecake cream.

Invert fully cooled cake onto serving platter. Peel off parchment. Serve wedges of cake topped with a dollop of cheesecake cream and a drizzling of syrup.

CHEESECAKE CREAM

1 small tub (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese

1 small tub (7 ounces) Greek yogurt

½ cup superfine sugar

Reserved lemon juice (from cake recipe)

Reserved clementine zest (from cake recipe)

Combine all ingredients until well blended. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Adapted from the BBC's food blog, Good Food, bbcgoodfood.com.

LEMON-THYME PORK TENDERLOIN

Servings: 6

2 pork tenderloins (1 pound each), trimmed of fat

½ cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon white pepper

1½ teaspoons dried thyme leaves

Pierce tenderloin all over with fork and place in baking dish. Combine lemon juice, zest, olive oil, garlic, salt, white pepper and thyme and pour over pork. Cover and marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours or overnight, turning pork once or twice.

(Continued on page 4)

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