Sunday, February 6, 2011

Meyer Lemon Curd Shortcakes with Orange Flower Water Glaze and Fresh Fruit

Welcome back to another recipe swap!

From Lemon Poppyseed cake with a Pinot Gris glaze by Mari of The Unexpected Harvest, Chef Dennis' Italian lemon Pear Cake, Rosemarried's grapefruit cupcakes with her own candied peel, The Tomato Tart's rosemary-lemon-caramel cake combination, Boulder Locavore's gluten-free cardamom-orange cake, to Spicy Nay's lemon-lavender cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, these recipes remind me of why I started the whole project in the first place; to see where our imaginations run as chefs when presented with the same recipe to develop.  (For a full run-down of these amazing swappers and a little swap history, check out the Recipe Swaps page.)

I made:
Meyer Lemon Curd Shortcakes with Orange Flower Water Glaze and Fresh Fruit

Serves: 12.  (Why so many? This is a great recipe to use when you are responsible for a dinner party dessert. It is elegant on the plate and very easy to make.)

Every single part of this recipe is a snap.  The lemon curd can be made days ahead, and the shortcakes come together in 30 minutes.  While I was letting the shortcakes cool, I ran to the farmer's market for fruit.

Lemon Curd

Makes about two cups

instant-read thermometer

four eggs (three eggs, one yolk)
1/3 cup lemon juice (about two juicy lemons)
3/4 cup sugar
4 Tbsp butter (1/4 cup)
1 Tbsp lemon zest (about one lemon's worth)

In a stainless steel bowl over a pan of simmering water, combine three eggs, one yolk, the sugar and lemon juice and whisk together constantly until you can feel it thicken, about ten minutes. For a softer curd (which I like), whisk until an instant-read thermometer reaches 160F.  For a firmer curd, thicken to the 170-180F stage. When it has thickened to your satisfaction, remove it from the heat, add the lemon zest and butter and stir until the butter is melted. Pour into separate bowl and set aside to cool, placing a piece of cling film directly on the top of the curd to prevent it from drying out.  It will continue to thicken as it cools. Cool completely or chill overnight for use within the next four or five days.


Makes 12 biscuits

Parchment paper, speeds cleanup and (I think) promotes even browning on the bottom.
2.5" round biscuit cutter, or clean, empty tin can
rolling pin
sheet pan

2 cups flour + flour for dusting rolling surface
3 Tbsp + 1tsp sugar (Just shy of 1/4 cup)
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
A stick of cold butter (4 oz), cubed
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2 cream

Don't sift anything.  Throw the dries together in a bowl.  Cut butter into cubes and dump into the bowl.  With your hands, work the butter into the dries until you have the texture of coarse sand with a few tiny pebbles in it. Resist throwing it all into a food processor. I believe this part of the process must be done by hand in order to get the lift you want on the biscuits.  When you've accomplished this coarse sand texture, pour in cream and mix only until combined.  Do not overwork!  You'll be staring at a soggy mess that sticks to your hands, so shape as quickly and with as little manhandling as you can into a loose ball and turn onto a heavily floured surfrace. The dough is fragile and flimsy and the less you work with it in this stage the fluffier and more tender the shortcakes will be. With a rolling pin, gently roll out to 1/2" thickness, cut rounds and place them onto a parchment paper-lined sheet pan. If you re-roll the scraps, you will have about 15 biscuits.

Bake at 425F for 14 minutes (at sea level) or until tops are a light golden brown. Check after 10 minutes. They will burn quickly as they have a lot of sugar in them.

Orange Flower Water Icing

1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted into bowl
2 to 3 tsp Orange flower water (available at a Middle Eastern market, costs about $4). If you need a substitution, use the same amount of fresh orange juice.

Combine ingredients. Add more powdered sugar if you want a thicker glaze.


Split shortcake in half, spread with curd, drizzle on glaze, garnish with fresh fruit and icing, and serve a half or a whole shortcake to your loved ones.

Shortcake with fresh raspberries, mint and Satsuma mandarin oranges.

Notes: This was one of my favorite recipes to create.  It is easy, delicious, and delicate.  Using Meyer Lemon is key to the delicate flavor, but if you don't have them available, regular ol' lemons will do just fine, just prepare for a little extra tartness. I preferred the dessert without the glaze because I found some beautiful Satsuma mandarin oranges at the farmer's market and wanted their simple, fragrant flavor to come through on this plate. 


  1. Beautiful my friend! Sounds delicious, photos are enticing. Love the blue egg container.

    Thanks again for including me. This is great fun!

  2. I love what you have done with this recipe. It looks so elegant and yet so simple. I am sure the flavors meld together as well as the colors do. It's gorgeous.

  3. i LOVE that little blue plate, and i will definitely use this recipe sometime. good job!!

  4. Great job with that delightful shortcake! I love lemon curd and your presentation is beautiful! this would be a welcome dessert at any table.....thank you so much for letting me take part in your recipe swap, I do appreciate the opportunity!

  5. Absolutely drool-worthy. Love it. Also, your little blue egg carrier is the best.

  6. Glorious pictures and fantastic recipe. Yum.

  7. CM, I would suffer through the consequences of eating gluten to devour your shortcakes. Oh my heavens they look great! I want to go thrifting now to find cute dishes like yours! Well done m'dear. So glad to be part of this swap with you.

  8. You say lemon curd, I say sign me up! Absolutely one of my faves, and this version looks deeee-lightful. Can't wait to try it. Hope you're well!

  9. Oh goodness. Shortcakes and lemon curd- I can't even imagine a lovelier combination. It's totally inspired. It's a dessert that my seven-year old self would have swooned for, and I still am swooning for. Just divine. I can't wait to make it. So glad be in the swap.

  10. Oh my. Simply gorgeous. I made lemon curd a few months ago for a proper lemon meringue pie and I could've eaten the whole bowl with a spoon. I would totally swipe that satsuma orange if were in the kitchen together, it looks perfect for the fly by nibble!

  11. Such a lovely blog! I followed this post here for Chef Dennis' Italian Lemon Pear Cake post and was so pleased to find all of the links to such beautiful recipes (and wonderful bloggers). This recipe swap is such a clever idea.

    Shari from

  12. This recipe absolutely makes my mouth water. I love curd and I too could eat it by the spoon fulls. yum!


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