20 June, 2009

June recipe: Lemon syllabub

Syllabub has been a popular dessert since at least the sixteenth century, as the Oxford English Dictionary lists the first recorded use at around 1537. It generally involves cream, alcohol, sugar and a flavouring, often fruit, though there are as many variations as there are cooks. It makes a fine dessert for a summer evening.

Here's my recipe. The mixture tends to splatter more than ordinary whipped cream, so a large mixing bowl is a good idea, and if using an electric whisk (and it would be hard work to whip by hand), use a slow speed to begin with and increase to higher speed after the mixture has started to thicken.

Lemon syllabub

1 lemon
4 fl. oz (approx 100 ml) sherry, white wine or cider
0.5 teaspoon (0.5 x 5 ml spoon) ground nutmeg
3 oz (approx 75 g) sugar. I like light brown soft sugar for the warm colour and slight caramel flavour)
0.5 pint (approx 250 ml) double cream*

Put the lemon juice, lemon zest, sherry and nutmeg in a large bowl and leave to steep for an hour or two.
Stir in the sugar and mix until dissolved.
Pour in the double cream.
Whisk until the mixture is thick and standing in soft peaks (like ordinary whipped cream, or perhaps a bit softer).
Spoon into wine glasses or glass dessert bowls. I expect to get 6 or 8 portions out of this quantity, but it depends how big your wine glasses are.
Sprinkle with a little grated chocolate if liked. Chill in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours, then serve.

*I think double cream is called heavy cream in the US


Gabriele Campbell said...

That sounds yummy, I'll have to try it. You think I can use less sugar? All dessets I've had in Britain were a bit too sweet for my taste.

Rick said...

These sound like they could really sneak up on you. :-)

Carla said...

Most commercially produced desserts in Britain are a bit too sweet for my taste, too. This is quite sharp. You could try making it with half or two-thirds the amount of sugar. Then taste it when you've whipped it up (cook's privilege, anyway), and stir in a bit more sugar at that stage if you think it needs it.

Carla said...

Rick - no, they sit quietly in the fridge until you eat them. Honest.

Rick said...

LOL. But when you eat them is when the ethanol sneaks up ...

Carla said...

True, though syllabub isn't as alcoholic as all that. This recipe works out at, what, less than 20 ml of wine/sherry/cider per portion. That's not going to get most peple tipsy, even if you use sherry. I think you're safe :-)

Rick said...

Of course the recipe can be ... adjusted. :-)

Constance Brewer said...

Drink enough sherry while making it, and you won't notice the sugar. *g*

Carla said...

Rick - if you put the alcohol in intentionally, it can't really be described as sneaking up on you :-)

Constance - you and Rick have the same sort of idea, no?

Rick said...

It can sneak up on you if it tastes like a dessert drink rather than 'booze'!