Lemon syllabub

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
1 \N Lemon zest; finely grated
\N \N Juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon Brandy
4 tablespoons White wine or sherry
3 ounces Caster sugar
10 ounces Double cream
\N \N Extra lemon zest or fresh
\N \N . mint sprigs for garnish

Mix together the lemon zest, juice, brandy and wine (or sherry) and if you have time, cover and leave to stand for two hours. Then stir in the sugar until dissolved. Whip the cream with a hand whisk (or an electric beater on slow speed) until it begins to hold its shape.

Do not over-beat. Whisk in the lemon mixture a little bit at a time, until standing in soft peaks. Pile into four stemmed glasses and chill for at least two hours before serving. Decorate with thin strips of lemon or a sprig of fresh mint and serve with sponge fingers or thin biscuits (cookies).

** The London Daily Mail - 26 July 1995 ** Posted by The WEE Scot ~- Paul MacGregor

The Rest of the Story:

The syllabub is a Tudor invention. In its simplest form, a milkmaid in the cowshed would direct a stream of new, warm milk into a large bowl of spiced cider or ale.

Left standing for a while, a light curd formed on top with a delicous whey underneath, a concoction then drunk.

The stiffer, more solid version we eat today evolved using cream beaten with wine. In recipes published after his death in 1669, Sir Kenelm Digby suggests 'a tiny sprig of rosemary or a little twist of lemon peel be stuck into each little glass'.

Syllabub makes an excellent partner to soft summer fruits at this time of year. Either sprinkle raspberries or sliced strawberries on top or try sieved unsweetened raspberries added to the white wine in place of lemon juice and pour it over ratafia biscuits.

Two readers Meryl Ambler from Hereford & Worcester and Louise Graegorczyk from London, sent in the following "cheat's" recipe for a non-alcoholic Fake Syllabub. As Mrs Ambler says: 'Somehow this recipe gives off a true syllabuby, slightly alcoholic flavor. You find people will make suggestions -- "What is it? Kirsch? Sherry?" Beat 10 floz (300ml) double cream with 5 floz (150ml) single cream until stiff. Fold in 4 Tbsp caster sugar, the juice of a lemon with the grated peel of a lemon and a grapefruit. Fill tall, pretty glass dishes and put in the fridge. Decorate with chopped nuts or a slice of lemon, twisted, and serve with shortbread biscuits.

There are many variations: some recipes use sherry with brandy, others white wine. The 'true' method requires a statutory overnight marinating of the lemon peel with the brandy, wine and juice, then straining before use. But it's much quicker to use grated lemon zest and skip the overnight marinating.

But beware -- overzealous grating can lead to bitterness and wreck this pudding. The best flavour lies in the top yellow coat of the lemon's skin: use the fine holes of a grater and avoid the bitter white pith.

One of the joys of a syllabub is it's best made in advance and happily stands in a cool place -- not necessarily a fridge -- for a couple of days. Submitted By PAUL MACGREGOR On 08-17-95

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