Many of you who are regular readers of this blog may already know that I lost my father to renal cancer in November, 2006. I've written about him before, here and here. He was an extraordinary man - strong, yet warm; tough, yet kind; shrewd, yet caring. He was my hero. In the span of one short year I watched as cancer sapped the life out of this robust and vital man, bit by bit, breath by breath, until his body was nothing more than an unwelcoming host for his beautiful soul. Each day, my heart broke a little bit more as he slipped further and further away from us. When he died, a piece of me died with him.
When I first read about the A Taste of Yellow event hosted by Barbara at Winos and Foodies, I knew that I had to participate. This event was conceived to commemorate LIVESTRONG Day. LIVESTRONG Day is sponsored by the Lance Armstrong Foundation. It's purpose is to unify people affected by cancer and to raise cancer awareness on a national level and in local communities across the country. This year, LIVESTRONG Day will occur on Tuesday, May 13. Barbara plans to post the roundup for A Taste of Yellow to coincide with this.
The participants in A Taste of Yellow are to make and post a recipe of their choosing containing some element of yellow food. Yellow is the official color of the LIVESTRONG program. Last year, almost one hundred fifty food bloggers participated in this event. I've been seeing an awful lot of yellow food around the blogosphere lately, so I suspect we just might beat that number this time around.
Once the lemon cream is made, the rest of the recipe is a breeze to make. You can buy frozen filo sheets as well as pre-baked filo cups in most supermarkets. Since I already had the sheets in my freezer, I opted to use them. I just cut out three inch circles of filo and formed a few layers into mini muffin tins, brushing with a little melted butter. Then I baked them, filled them, garnished them, photographed them and ate them! The mini cups are just the right size for these treats as the lemon cream is so rich. The perfect bite, if you will.
1/2 package frozen filo dough, cut into 3-inch rounds (or pre-baked filo cups)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Form 2 or 3 rounds of filo into each form of a mini muffin tin. Brush lightly with melted butter.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden and crispy. Set aside to cool.
Pipe or spoon lemon cream into each cup. Pipe a dot of creme fraiche over the lemon cream, and garnish with a fresh berry.
1 cup sugar
Getting ready: Have a thermometer, preferably an instant-read, a strainer and a blender (first choice) or food processor at the ready. Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan.
Put the sugar and zest in a large metal bowl that can be fitted into the pan of simmering water.
As soon as you reach 180°F, pull the cream from the heat and strain it into the container of a blender (or food processor); discard the zest. Let the cream rest at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until it cools to 140°F, about 10 minutes.
Turn the blender to high and, with the machine going, add about 5 pieces of butter at a time. Scrape down the sides of the container as needed while you’re incorporating the butter. Once the butter is in, keep the machine going—to get the perfect light, airy texture of lemon-cream dreams, you must continue to beat the cream for another 3 minutes. If your machine protests and gets a bit too hot, work in 1-minute intervals, giving the machine a little rest between beats.
Pour the cream into a container, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal and chill the cream for at least 4 hours or overnight. When you are ready to use the cream, just whisk to loosen it.
Creme Fraiche Whipped Cream
1 cup whipping cream
Whip cream until it begins to thicken. Sprinkle with sugar. continue to beat cream until it
makes a soft, lazy peak.
Dollop on everything.