Lemon Cream Daisies

Book Group last night at my house.  We read a book called “Garden Spells” which was a fun summer read about some quirky people, one of them was a caterer named Claire who made food with the special plants from her garden.  I do not have a garden like Claire’s but I tried to do my best.  I made two different treats but these seemed to win the taste contest.  The lemon curd filling is so good, tangy and tasty!  This recipe is from Gale Gand’s “Just a Bite” cookbook which my mom got me for my birthday!  Thanks Mom!

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup freshly pressed lemon juice (from 3 – 4 lemons)

freshly grated zest of 1/2 lemon (I used zest from 1 whole lemon)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened at room temperature

1/2 cup chilled heavy cream

1 package puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed

2 tablespoons  chopped pistachios

you’ll also need:

a fluted cookie cutter, 2 – 2 1/2″ across (I didn’t have a flower shaped one in the right size so I used a round)

a round cookie cutter, 1″ across

Bring 2″ of water to a simmer in a large saucepan.  In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the eggs and sugar together until very light yellow and fluffy.  Mix in the lemon juice and zest.  Rest the mixing  bowl in the saucepan, with the bowl’s base resting above, not in, the simmering water.  Cook, whisking occasionally, until mixture is thickened and custardy, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice and cover with cold water.  Remove the bowl with the lemon curd in it from the hot water and whisk in the butter until melted.  Rest the bottom of the bowl in the ice bath and let lemon curd cool, folding the mixture occasionally to cool and thicken it.

In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cream until stiff.  Fold it into the cooled lemon curd.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  (You can make this up to 3 days ahead of time and store in fridge.)

Heat oven to 350.  Flour a work surface and lay of puff pastry.  Roll the sheets lightly with a rolling pin until smooth and flattened.  Use the large cookie cutter to cut out rounds from the puff pastry.  Then use the small cookie cutter to push halfway down in the center of each round.  Do not pull out the centers; you’ll hollow them out after they are baked.  Arrange the rounds on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown, 15 – 20 minutes.  When the rounds are baked, immediately remove them to a wire rack and let them cool to room temperature.

Cut around the centers with a small knife to loosen, but don’t cut all the way through to the bottom.  You want to leave a thin layer of pastry to hold the filling.  Hollow out the centers to make a depression in the center of each pastry round or just push the pastry down in the center with your thumb.  (I used my Pampered Chef Tart Shaper to push each center down.)

Not more then 4 hours before serving, spoon or pipe a generous dollop of lemon cream into each pastry round.  Sprinkle with chopped  pistachios.  (I topped mine with just a tiny bit of PC Lemon Sprinkles instead.)

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