What does summer taste like?
I know what summer looks like. It looks like trees weighed down with heavy cascades of leaves, thunderheads gathering solemnly in evening heat, steam rising off pavement. Summer sounds like the persistent hum of cicadas, wind rushing through the woods behind my apartment. Summer smells like jasmine, gardenias, and bushels and bushels of honeysuckle. Summer feels like bearing the burden of the sun, carrying its winter secrets on new summer skin . . .
But what does summer taste like? I think it must taste like mango curd, tropical and cool and sweet on your tongue. And of course, it tastes like lemon: fresh and bright. Don't forget ripe, lush berries, and oh, maybe some freshly whipped cream piled high on top.
The folks at beso.com want to know what you think summer tastes like, and it's worth a KitchenAid mixer to them! They're currently holding a Baking Up Summer Sweets contest in which you can tell them about your favorite summer recipe for a chance to win.
Given my own summer tastes, I'm entering beso.com's contest with a recipe that's mangoy, lemony, berry-y, creamy . . . full of summer goodness. And since I recently won a mini-madeleine pan from Shortbread NYC, of course it had to involve madeleines! Hence, lemon madeleines with mango and raspberry curd were born.
These lemony bites are the perfect summer treat. I served them with fresh, sliced strawberries. They were light, bright, and so tiny -- perfect for sitting on a warm patio in the evening and nibbling one-by-one. Also, I don't know about you, but I'm a dipper. I love dipping sauces and creams. Dipping each of these golden hunks into various curds and cream was not only delicious, but a fun experience too! Just a note about the texture of the madeleines, though: these were a bit cakey and only had a slight outer shell just after baking, which may displease die-hard madeleine lovers. I'm not sure if it was my silicone pan or the recipe. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the texture.
Speaking of KitchenAid mixers, you will never believe what I got for my birthday. My family all chipped in and bought me the most gorgeous silver professional KitchenAid stand mixer in the world! Bowl-lift, 5 quart bowl, and it came complete with a complimentary KitchenAid timer, four prep bowls, and a free attachment. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. Summer in this house is gonna sound like a whole lotta mixin' this year! So what would I do with that pretty mixer beso.com is giving away, were I to win? My mama's mixer is looking a little beat up, so I'm thinking it would be a good belated Mothers' Day gift. Here's hoping!
Mix up your own summer treat and enter to win, but don't forget to mix up some of these madeleines as well! Make mango curd, raspberry curd, or both! You'll love every summery bite.
Lemon Madeleines with Mango and Raspberry Curd
Recipe by: adapted from Joy of Baking (madeleines), Smitten Kitchen (mango curd), and notes from my food diary(raspberry curd)
Yields: about 80-90 bite-sized mini madeleines, maybe 25 regular size
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup (133 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
Mango Curd Ingredients:
1 15-ounce ripe mango, peeled, pitted, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 – 1/2 cup sugar (depending on your preference for tart vs. sweet)
3 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice (lime comes out tangier)
Pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Raspberry Curd Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
Two 1/2-pints ripe raspberries or one 12-ounce package frozen raspberries, thawed
5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Whipped Cream Ingredients:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Make madeleine batter: First, melt the butter and allow it to cool while you make the batter. In a small bowl place the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk until well blended.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar at medium-high speed until the mixture has tripled in volume and forms a thick ribbon when the beaters are lifted (about 5 minutes). Add the vanilla and lemon extracts and beat to combine.
Sift a small amount of flour over the egg mixture and, using a large rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the beaten eggs to lighten it. Sift the rest of the flour over the egg mixture and fold in being sure not to overmix or the batter will deflate.
Whisk a small amount of the egg mixture into the melted butter to lighten it. Then fold in the cooled melted butter in three additions. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or several hours, until slightly firm.
While batter is refrigerating, make mango curd: Puree mango, sugar, lime/lemon juice and salt in processor, scraping down sides of work bowl occasionally. Add yolks; puree 15 seconds longer. Strain through sieve set over large metal bowl, pressing on solids with back of spatula to release as much puree as possible. Discard solids in sieve.
Set metal bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water); whisk puree until thickened and thermometer registers 170°F., about 10 minutes. Remove from over water. Whisk in butter 1 piece at a time. Cover with plastic wrap (directly on the curd to prevent a skin from forming) and refrigerate for several hours. Note: Freeze excess for up to two months.
Make raspberry curd: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the raspberries, egg yolks, sugar, and salt and cook, mashing the berries and stirring frequently at first and them constantly at the end, until thickened, about 10 minutes (this took longer for me -- about 15+).
Pour the mixture through a coarse strainer set over a bowl, pressing hard on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Cool to room temperature; the curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Stir in lemon juice to taste. Refrigerate. Note: freeze excess for up to 1 month.
To bake madeleines, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Generously butter two 12-mold madeleine pans. Dust the molds with flour and tap out the excess. Alternatively, use Bakers Joy to coat pans. (Make sure the pans are well greased or the madeleines will stick and be hard to remove.)
Drop a generous tablespoonful of the batter into the center of each prepared mold, leaving the batter mounded in the center. (This will result in the classic "humped" appearance of the madeleines.)
Bake the madeleines for 11 to 13 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the centers spring back when lightly touched. Note: If you make miniature madeleines, reduce the baking time to about 7-9 minutes. Do not overbake these cookies or they will be dry.
Remove the pans from the oven and rap each pan sharply against a countertop to release the madeleines. Transfer the madeleines, smooth sides down, to wire racks to cool. While they cool, make whipped cream by mixing cream and sugar together until they reach loose whipped cream consistency. Serve madeleines with curds and cream the same day for best taste, or store them in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days or frozen, well wrapped, for up to 1 month.
P.S. - Wondering about that refreshing-looking pitcher of sparkling strawberry lemonade? That summer recipe is coming up soon!
P.S. 2 - My roommate texted me today from her visit to her home state of New York. It snowed there today. Yikes! Buffalo, summer is coming soon, just hang on!