Citronfromage, literal translation, lemon cheese. But that's not accurate either. This is more of a lemon pudding, But that just doesn't describe this dish either.
This was our traditional dessert Christmas Eve. I can still see Mom carrying in the bowl she always served it in. It was the most beautiful purple bowl, and highlighted the pale, pale yellow of the Citronfromage and the creamy whipped cream on top. This was one of those dishes that never needed garnishment, that hit the spot after a heavy meal, the lightness and slight tartness of the dessert were the perfect counterpoint to the richness of the duck and all the other dishes we'd already eaten. And no matter how full you were, there was always room for a spoonful (or more) of Citronfromage.
When I picked some lovely fresh Meyer Lemons from my tree this winter, I knew I had to make something special with them. I pondered on all kinds of dishes, Lemon Meringue pie, fresh lemon bars, lemon tart, but nothing gave me the nod, until I started thinking about making a dish for a potluck we were going to and I got one of those AHA moments. Citronfromage.
Now this can be a little scary to make, it uses fresh, uncooked eggs, but you use pasteurized eggs, so go for it. Pasteurized eggs mean that you can use fresh eggs in other dishes as well. I use them when I make my home made mayonnaise, less chance of getting something nasty.
First things first, zest your lemons,
Divide the eggs, yolks in one bowl, whites in another. Whip the whites till they are stiff and set aside. Then, stir the egg yolks and sugar together til it turns white and all the sugar crystals have dissolved.
- 4 eggs, separated (pasteurized eggs)
- 6 tbsp. sugar (add more to taste)
- Grated rind of 1 lemon
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- Juice of 1 or 2 lemons (according to taste) (I used 1 1/2 lemons)
- 1/2 c. whipping cream, lightly sweetened with 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar.
- Beat the egg yolks with sugar until almost white in color, then add the lemon rind.
- Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff.
- Dissolve the gelatin in the lemon juice over a very low heat. (Place a non reactive pot over some hot water and then add the gelatin to the hot lemon juice.)
- Allow to cool before adding to the egg mixture, and finally fold in the egg whites.
- Pour into a glass bowl and allow to set for 1 to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
- Just before serving, whip the cream and spread or pipe it on top of the souffle. If you use the juice of 2 lemons, the sharp flavor contrasts well with the bland whipped cream. Serves 6