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Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Lovely Lemon

Citrus Limonum, belongs to the family Rutaceae. Known as the lemon, the common name for a small thorny tree, and for its fruit. Lemon trees are cultivated throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world, particularly in Italy, Spain, Portugal and California. Lemons
were first brought from the Middle East to Spain and northern Africa during
the Middle Ages. The cultivated lemon is probably a hybrid of two wild species, most likely lime and citron.

Lemon trees grow to be about 10- to 20-ft tall and are sparsely covered with foliage. The flower has five sepals, five petals, numerous stamens, and a solitary pistil. The upper surface of each petal is white, and the lower surface is pinkish. Lemon flowers have a sweet odor comparable to, but less marked than, the aroma of orange flowers.
The lemon fruit is a pale-yellow, elliptically shaped berry, which usually has a small, nipple like protuberance at the apex. The exocarp layer is the leathery rind, containing oil of lemon, which is used in the manufacture of perfumes and lemon flavoring. Bet you didn’t know, a thousand lemons yield between 1 and 2 lb. of oil. The nearly tasteless, spongy, white layer beneath the rind is the mesocarp, which contains a substance called citrin or vitamin P. The pulp, which comprises the endocarp layer, consists of eight to10 segments containing small, pointed, yellowish white seeds.

Lemon juice is used widely as a drink; as a constituent of drinks, salad dressings, and fish dressings; and as a flavoring. Lemon pulp was formerly used commercially in the manufacturing of citric acid, and is now used in making concentrated lemon juice, which is used medicinally for its high vitamin C content.

The main types of lemons produced in the United States are the Eureka, the Lisbon, the Genoa, the Sicily, the Belair and the Villafranca. Some lemons are produced in Arizona and Florida, but most of the commercial crop is grown in southern California, where production averages about 90 percent of the annual U.S. output.

LEMON BUTTERMILK PUDDING CAKE
FINISHED WITH SEASONAL FRUIT

3 Tablespoons organic Butter, room temperature
1 cup Sucunat
4 Eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup fresh Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons finely grated Lemon Zest
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 Tablespoons whole-wheat pastry Flour
1 cup low-fat Buttermilk
Fresh Berries in season
Preheat oven to 325F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan or a 6-cup soufflé dish. With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Separate eggs yolks and whites. Add yolks to butter mixture and beat well. Add lemon juice, zest, salt and flour; beat well. Add buttermilk; stir until well blended. Beat egg whites until stiff. Gently fold into lemon mixture. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes, covering with foil for the last 10 minutes if the top gets too brown. Serve warm or chilled with berries.
Serves 6.

CLASSIC CITRUS CURD

3 large range-fed eggs
1/3 cup organic sugar
grated zest of 1-2 organic citrus
Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Orange or Tangerine
1/2 cup citrus juice
4-6 tablespoons unsalted organic butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium stainless steel pan, whisk until light in color eggs, sugar, zest. Add 1/2 cup citrus juice; add the butter in, cut into small pieces. Put on the stove, over medium high heat. Whisk until the butter is melted. Whisk gently turning the heat to low, staying on the heat for a few more seconds. Using a spatula, scrape the filling into a medium-mesh sieve, set over a bowl and strain the filling into a bowl. Stir in the vanilla. Let cool, cover, and refrigerate to thicken.

Barn Goddess note: This lovely curd keeps for a week in the refrigerator, but it won’t last that long!

This will make about 1-3/4 cups

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