Saturday, October 23, 2021

Weekend Cooking: When Life Give You Lemons

We are all familiar with the old saying about when life gives you lemons make lemonade but I am here to suggest that there are so many other options. In fact, I think I have only attempted to make lemonade once, because to me, 

I have had this post in mind for quite some time because when I look out at my garden there is a tree with a profusion of lemons on it. We weren't always sure that would be the case, because a few years ago now we did a very, very hard prune. There were quite a few occasions where we stood on the deck and looked at the stump and contemplated whether we had gone too hard. Here is the evidence:

I do love lemon as a flavour. It is up there with chocolate as a favourite. Another favourite is white chocolate and raspberry, but that, and other flavours, aren't as accessible to me as chocolate and lemon are.  

Over the years I have made a lot of different lemon flavoured treats

Lemon Syrup Cakes - This is a firm favourite in our house, and I have made them many, many times, most recently a couple of weeks ago. 

Lemon Thins  - I have made these once, but I do often think about making them again.

Lemon delicious - Last year I went through a phase of making self saucing puddings, so it was only natural that I made a lemon version.

Lemon Crunch Cake  - I made this Hawaiian cake after reading about it in the Lost Pearl by Emily Madden.

Lemon Mousse Cake - I have made this a couple of times, but I have also used the mousse that is one of the components of this cake.

Lemon tart - I've made this a couple of times. Most recently I added meringue kisses to the top to make a fancy lemon meringue pie

Lemon meringue pie-  I have also made the more traditional version of lemon meringue pie.

There are more, but I think the above represent how much we enjoy lemon in our house.

Today, I am sharing the recipe for the Lemon Angel Food Cake, which is a Mary Berry recipe. I have made this before, and ended up giving part of the cake away before I tasted it, which I realised as soon as we did taste it, because it was so light and airy and so delicious.

I am making it again today to take to a family dinner tonight, our first opportunity to come together as a family since July since our lockdown has finally been removed. There are still some restrictions for those who are not double vaxxed.

Last time I made this, I used the lemon curd to make a delicious lemon mousse, and I will be doing the same again today. What I don't include is passionfruit as this is a flavour that I do not like.

Lemon Angel Food Cake - Mary Berry 

For the cake

125g/4½oz plain flour
300g/10½oz caster sugar
10 large free-range egg whites
2 large lemons, grated zest only
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp salt

For the lemon curd (this recipe makes more lemon curd than you need)

10 large free-range egg yolks
400g/14oz caster sugar
4 large lemons, juice only (approximately 200ml/7fl oz)
2 large lemons, grated zest only
175g/6oz unsalted butter, cubed
2 passion fruit

For the topping
300ml/10fl oz whipping cream
½ tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 (fan 160C) and arrange an oven shelf in the bottom third of the oven. Sift the flour and 100g/3½oz of the caster sugar together in a bowl and set aside.

Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric hand whisk or mixer on a high speed for one minute until frothy. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, cream of tartar and salt and continue whisking for 2-3 minutes, or until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed from the bowl. Increase the speed and add the remaining 200g/7oz of caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time to form firm, but not stiff peaks.

Sprinkle over one-third of the flour mixture and fold gently to combine. Repeat with the remaining two-thirds of the flour mixture folding gently to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.

Transfer the batter to a 25cm/10in angel food cake pan. Gently run a knife through the centre of the batter to remove any pockets of air. Cook for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and immediately turn upside down onto the tin’s cooling legs, or place over the neck of a wine bottle. Leave to cool for at least one hour.

Run a knife around the inner and outer edges of cake to remove it from the pan. Invert onto a plate. Carefully use a palette knife to separate the cake from the base of the pan. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

For the lemon curd, mix the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest together in a large pan. Cook over a low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, making sure to stir the sides and base of the pan. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Pass through a sieve into a large jug. Fill two 350g/12oz glass jars with the lemon curd and seal with lids. Cover the remaining curd with cling film and leave to cool.

For the topping, whisk the cream and vanilla extract in a bowl until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Spoon the topping over the angel food cake and, using a palette knife, coat the top and sides of the cake, smoothing as you go.

Cut the passion fruit in half and scoop out the seeds. Stir the passion fruit into the reserved, cooled lemon curd and drizzle over the angel food cake before serving. You may want to use just one of the jars of lemon curd to serve with the cake and save the other to eat separately.

Weekly Meals

Saturday - Pork chops with potatoe and cauliflower bake

Sunday - Roast beef rolls with gravy

Monday - Zucchini, tomato risotto

Tuesday - Lasagne

Wednesday  - Pork Nachos

Thursday - Chicken kebabs, baked potato, salad

Friday - Takeaway

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page


  1. I love, love, love lemon! Though I live in fruit-tree territory (apples, cherries, pears, apricots, plums), it's too cold here for citrus. I'd love to have a lemon tree in my yard. Now I'm going to have to make Mary Berry's cake. I love angel food cake and I love that you include the curd recipe so the egg yolks don't go to waste.

    1. That's one of my favourite things about this recipe too. And there's left over curd too!

  2. So happy the lemon tree came back around! Thanks for all the lovely lemon recipes.

    1. I am relieved it came back too Melynda!

  3. Lemon is also my favorite. When I go to Paris I always want the tarte au citron. Such a great combination of sweet and sour. Thanks for hosting!

    best… mae at

    1. Tarte au citron is so delicious! And lemon tart too!

  4. Love lemon anything!! Darn, and we don't have any right now.

    1. Sounds like a trip to the store is in order Jackie!

  5. I love lemon too. I just bought myself a zester for my birthday!

  6. i adore lemons and i always them in my fridge. love lemon meringue pie and lemon tart and lemon curd and ....

  7. Lemons are a favorite of mine in savory dishes and very at for desserts. I always wondered if we could have a lemon tree prosper in north Florida. We get some cold temps in December & January .

    Also, I love your weekly menu!