Lemon is a timeless taste favourite. Lemon desserts, especially lemon custard was popular in the Renaissance, a period of time when sugar was routinely sprinkled on food, and the shortbread crust had just been created. These days we find it in savory dishes, cheesecakes, custards, candies, cakes, and pies. There aren’t many who can resist a luscious lemon meringue pie.
During the summer we enjoy lemonade, lemon flavoured goodies and even lemon flavoured vodka. Friends from India tell me it’s an effective hangover cure. Just boil one cup of water, add honey and lemon juice to taste. Apparently, this hot toddy works to treat a hangover and you can enjoy it several times a day to replenish fluids and sugar lost in your moment of excess. It’s also a great addition to plain water because it’s high in vitamin C, a primary antioxidant that helps protect cells from free radicals.
The following recipe is modern, but if you’re feeling adventurous, I’ve also included a cheesecake recipe from the Canadian Home Cook Book of 1877.
Lemon Coffee Cake
- 1 lemon pie filling
- ½ cup butter softened
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cold butter
- 1 tsp Pure Ground Cinnamon
- ½ cup chopped nuts
- Prepare lemon pie filling according to recipe. Cool.
- Combine next 6 ingredients in a bowl.
- Sift together 2 cups of flour, baking powder and salt; stir into vanilla mixture. Spread half the dough in a greased and floured 13×9 inch pan; spread lemon pie filling over dough. Top with remaining dough.
- Mix the last 5 ingredients until mixture resembles crumbs. Sprinkle cake with crumb mixture. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool or chill.
HINT: When you purchase extracts for flavouring, look for the easy recipes usually found on the box.
Lemon Cheese Cake (1877)
Break one pound of loaf sugar into small lumps, put to it one-quarter pound of butter, the yolks of six eggs with the whites of four, the juice of three lemons, and the peel of two grated; put these into a pan, let them simmer over a slow fire until the sugar is dissolved; continue to stir it gently one way while it is on the fire, or it will curdle; keep it in a jar like mince meat; let it simmer till it begins to thicken, or looks like honey.
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