Lovely Lemons with Chef Susan Holding

Perfect Lemonade


1 cup sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup)

1 cup water (for the simple syrup)

1 cup lemon juice

3 to 4 cups cold water (to dilute)


Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved completely.

While the sugar is dissolving, use a juicer to extract the juice from 4 to 6 lemons, enough for one cup of juice.

Add the juice and the sugar water to a pitcher. Add 3 to 4 cups of cold water, more or less to the desired strength. Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes. If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it.

Serve with ice, sliced lemons.  Serves 6

Lemon Orzo Parmigiano Reggiano


3 Tbs fresh lemon juice

3 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped

kosher salt

3 cups low-low salt chicken broth

5 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces

1 lb. orzo

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; more for sprinkling

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, lightly chopped

Freshly ground black pepper


Combine the lemon juice, garlic and a generous pinch of salt in a small bowl and set aside. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.

Meanwhile, put the chicken broth in a medium (3 qt) saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until the broth has reduced to 1 cup, 20 to 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Add the lemon-garlic mixture and whisk in the butter one piece at a time. Keep warm.

Cook the orzo in the boiling water until barely al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and immediately toss with the broth mixture. Add the 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano and the parsley and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss well to combine. Serve immediately, sprinkled with additional parmigiano reggiano.

Lemon Merengue Cookies

2 large egg whites

1/8 tsp salt

2/3 cup sugar 1 tsp grated lemon zest (finely)

1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 400°.

Line two baking sheets with baking parchment and set aside.

Beat egg whites and salt in small bowl at high electric-mixer speed until frothy.

With mixer still at high speed, add sugar gradually and continue beating until meringue peaks stiffly (about 4 minutes).

Beat in vanilla, then by hand fold in lemon zest.

Drop meringue from rounded teaspoon onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 2-inches apart.

Set in oven, immediately turn oven off, and let cookies remain in the oven for 2 hours (you can leave them in overnight) Peel meringue off parchment and store in airtight container.


Lemon Curd (for Lemon Tartlets)

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest

1 cup fresh lemon juice

1 1/3 cups sugar

4 large eggs

1 3/4 sticks (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces


Whisk together zest, lemon juice, sugar, eggs, and a pinch of salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Add butter all at once and cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubbles appear on surface, about 10 minutes. Immediately pour curd through a fine sieve into a bowl, then chill, covered.




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