Oh yeah, I’ve been hearing about the end of summer since last month. I didn’t believe it then but I dropped into Kohl’s over the weekend and saw the end of season sale on all things summer and it struck me. There is no way of stopping it. August ends, September begins, Labor Day hits us and boom, the swimming pools shut down for the year (not here in the sunny south though. Hah!). Looking back at this summer, I am glad to admit that I made use of it as much as I could. We hit our local farmers market almost all weekends, I did a lot of canning with as much summer fruits as I could. I used all the fresh produce we bought, and then some. We had dinner parties at home, went on a wonderful beach holiday, soaked up all the sun (rather reluctantly, forgive the Indian in me) I made a whole bunch of hostess gifts for dinners away and have frozen preserves in the freezer for later this year. Phew! And there is more of this to come, at least for a month.
But my school doesn’t agree. Term begins again this Monday and I am trying my best to cook as much goodies and I can for the Mister so that he has the memories of all that during the next three very plain months to come. And after that, we turn to our stocked up seasonal food and later, we are off home for a visit. Man, in India, it is always balmy and very tropical. Cannot wait for that break, right in the middle of the cold season here at the other home. So summer always means lemon for me. In India, we would get fresh yellow lemons in huge bags. Apart from making pickles, as I mentioned in an earlier post, we also make other food like lemon rice, Nimbu Pani (Lemonade, à la Indian) with lots of sugar and a bit of salt. A wide range of food, put together with so may home-remedies, you understand why lemons are rockstars!
Though we cook food with lemons and lime back home, a few things we never put any part of lemon into are desserts. People have a feeling they would curdle with dairy products. That is not the case here and I love that! I love lemon cakes, I salivate over lemon meringue and making lemon curd for pies and tartlets takes me to my happy place. So today, with leftover lemon curd from my previous recipe (post), I decided to put my phyllo sheets to use and make lemon curd phyllo cups. The recipe for the lemon curd is from the joyofbaking website and figured out how to make phyllo cups all by myself.
Phyllo is the Greek alternative for puff pastry. Phyllo comes frozen in layers of thin sheets. The trick is to make sure you keep it frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge and make sure they stay between two damp kitchen towels when working with them. Working with phyllo is time-consuming since it is rather unforgiving. But with some TLC and enough butter/oil, they will transform into a wonderful base for tarts. You layer the phyllo sheets with butter and/or oil and place another layer of sheet. Cut the sheets into pieces that will fit into a muffin pan after you make five layers. Pleat the layers into cups and bake at 350° F (~18° C) for 10 minutes.. Let cool and then fill with the curd.