Lemon Syllabub
As served by Greg and Becky for Dinner at their place before one of our Mystery Science Theater [I know, I know] evenings.

Lemon Syllabub with Shortbread and Spun Sugar
dessert veg
Lemon Syllabub
Makes 3 - or 4 quite small servings

For the syllabub:
200ml/6½ fl oz double cream
50g/2 oz caster sugar
110g/4 oz Greek yoghurt
2 lemons, juice only I believe Greg also added some of the peel
2 mint sprigs, to garnish
2 slices lemon, halved, to garnish

For the shortbread:
200g/7 oz plain flour
200g/7 oz caster sugar
50g/2 oz unsalted butter
1 medium egg, yolk only
extra flour, for dusting

For the spun sugar:
110g/4 oz caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7.

To make the shortbread, in a food processor blend together the flour, 100g/4 oz of the sugar, the butter and the egg yolk.
On a floured surface, roll out the biscuit mixture to a thickness of 1 cm/½".
Using a fluted cutter, cut out 10-12, 7.5cm/3" thick rounds.
Place the biscuits on a baking sheet.
Sprinkle over the remaining sugar.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, to make the syllabub, whisk together the cream and sugar in a large bowl
Lightly fold in the yoghurt and lemon juice and any lemon peel? Divide the mixture between four serving glasses and chill.
I made this myself and very good it is too:
  • Whisk the cream until it is thick, but not quite clumping.
  • Add only half the lemon juice to start with then taste - I needed only about 1 lemon's worth.
  • Add the grated peel of 1 lemon.
  • The syllabub does keep well in the fridge, for days if necessary.
  • Don't add the mint garnish until just before serving - they'll go limp in the fridge.
  • Frosted mint leaves might be nice (though I didn't try them):
    Paint the mint leaves with beaten egg whites then dredge in fine sugar and leave to dry for a few hours.
Sprinkle the sugar for spinning evenly over the base of a very clean non-stick heavy frying pan. Melt the sugar over a medium heat until it turns a light caramel colour. To spin the sugar, hold a rolling pin in one hand and working quickly, scoop a little caramel onto a spoon, then flick it to and fro over the rolling pin, so threads of caramel are formed. Bundle the strands into a loose ball and place on top of the syllabub.

Serve the syllabub garnished with the mint sprigs and lemon slices and with the biscuits on the side.
Greg skipped the shortbread and the spun sugar nest, serving the syllabub in glasses. Delicious stuff!
I tried the spun sugar nests - they're interesting, and very effective. But:
  • The sugar can melt and darken slightly in the pan, but not be smoking or burnt.
  • It's slightly tricky to get working - basically you need to get a dribble of the caramel hanging off the end of the (wooden) spoon which then extends into hair-like threads as you flick the spoon backwards and forwards. If you're only getting blobs you're pouring too quickly, you need to angle the spoon less to get a nice steady stream running off the end. The rolling pin just gives you something to catch the strands so they hang off it, then you can gather them up afterwards. Make sure to hold it over a large tray as sugar blobs and strands will go everywhere.
  • The sugar strands are crisp and delicate to begin with, but deliquesce quite quickly and will collapse and melt after an hour or two. So use immediately.
I also made shortbread. But not these shortbreads. These have egg in them, which is quite wrong.

Lemon Syllabub
dessert veg
This looked pretty good to me as I was browsing in Borders the other day, so I thought I'd add it to the collection...

Serves 6

300ml double cream
75g sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1 Tablespoon sweet wine
2 lemons, finely sliced
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
50ml Limoncello liqueur
a few sprigs of mint
Whisk double cream with the sugar. Add the lemon juice and the sweet wine.

Place the lemons in a pan with just enough water to cover.
Add the granulated sugar and Limoncello and gently, over a low heat, poach the lemon slices for a few minutes.

Place the lemons in the bottom of a glass, reserving a few.
Add the cream on top, decorate with a few more lemon slices and a few mint leaves.
I made this using the Grecky syllabub - since I knew that was tasty, and was looking for something quite tart to counterpoint a rather rich steak dinner at the time

The Limoncello slices were an interesting counterpoint to the syllabub, but are rather tart. Could experiment with more sugar?
Two poached lemons is waaaaay too much, one lemon would be more than sufficient - you only need a slice or two at the bottom of each glass.
Although possibly I overpoached them, they would have made a very soggy decoration on top, so I just used a small pile of lemon peel curls.

Don't make the syllabub too far in advance, they acquire a watery patina. Either eat them on the same day, or consider covering them while they sit in the fridge.