Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Using up Egg Yolks and Whites (or Lemon Curd and Angel Food Cake) - March 8, 2012

I admit that sometimes I get carried away with my interest in saving food from the compost pile.  My husband and I love to make limoncello for our friends during the holidays.  Last time we did this, I was tired of using the left over lemons for lemonade, so I made my first Lemon Curd. 

Lemon Curd

3 oz. (6 T.) unsalted butter, softened at room temp.
1 c. sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2/3 c. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon zest (optional)

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer, about two minutes.  Slowly add the eggs and yolks.  Beat for one minute.  Mix in the lemon juice.  The mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as it cooks.

In a medium heavy saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until it looks smooth.  Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes.  It should leave a path on the back of a spoon and will read 170 degrees on a thermometer.  Don't let it boil.

Remove the curd from the heat; stir in the lemon zest (I often leave this out because I like a smooth curd if making tarts).  Transfer the curd to a bowl.  Press plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming and chill in the refrigerator.  The curd will thicken further as it cools.  It will keep in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for two months.  My friend Mary makes all kinds of things with lemon curd including this gorgeous lemon souffle.

It was delicious but required the use of egg yolks leaving me with several egg whites.  I decided to make this fabulous Angel Food Cake which is good any time, but especially good in the early summer with fresh berries.  It’s also great with lemon curd.  You can make several angel food cakes and freeze but they do dry out a bit when defrosted. 

Angel Food Cake
1 1/2 cups egg whites (about 12 large eggs)
1 cup plus one T. sifted cake flour
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Separate the eggs, adding the whites to a liquid measuring cup until you have 1 1/2 cups.  It will take about 12 large eggs.  Let the whites sit about 15 minutes and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Sift o whisk the flour before measuring.  Add about half the sugar to the flour and sift or whisk again.  Beat the egg whites in a large bowl, adding the salt and the cream of tartar to the whites as soon as they become foamy.  Continue beating.  As soft peaks begin to form, add the remaining sugar and extracts.  Beat until peaks form.  

Using a spatula, gently fold the flour and sugar mixture into the egg whites.  Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl for the flour or the mixture will sink.  Mix only until the flour is moistened.  Scrape the batter into a ten-inch tube pan or two bread pans and bake immediately.  Bake for 45 minutes or until the cake is done.  When the cake is removed from the oven, immediately invert the tube pan on the counter.  Many tube pans have legs for this purpose or you can invert the pan over a narrow-necked bottle inserted into the tube.

Do you have other great ideas to use up egg yolks or egg whites?  What about great ways to serve angel food cake besides the traditional berries and whipped cream?

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