21 May 2012

Cooking gets catching : Son & heir's Lemon Curd Syllabub

One evening, just before he retired for the night, son & heir came into my bedroom and began to survey the serried ranks of cookery books.  Watching him out of the corner of my eye - well, I didn't want to disturb his thought process - he appeared to be drawn towards those recipe books that contained dessert recipes.

Eventually he selected one and sat on the end of my bed as he had a quick flick through it.  "Can I take this to read tonight?" he asked.  "Of course!" I told him.  He grunted mysteriously - well, he is a teenager - and off he went.

A few days pass.

Then, one evening, as hubby was dishing up the meal and we were sitting waiting, he said "would it be alright if I were to make the dessert this Sunday?".  I was momentarily nonplussed (as I'd forgotten about his taking the cookery book up until that moment) and after a couple of beats of "eh?", replied "yes, I'm sure that would be fine!  What have you got in mind?".

See the crumbled biscuit?  Yum.
It turned out that he had selected a recipe from James Martin's "Desserts", for  Lemon Curd Syllabub.  The recipe was simple enough - it required some whipping of cream and a bit of folding, but certainly nothing tricky.  It also sounded completely gorgeous - if a tad fattening.  (This fattening aspect is is why we really only have a "made" dessert on a Sunday, having yoghurt and the occasional helping of ice cream in the meantime).

Hubby was in charge in the kitchen on the day, as he was busy making his Koulibiac.  However, as it had to bake in the oven there was plenty of time for son & heir to get in and make his dessert.

Basil is all attention ...
What neither of them had bargained for, though, was the fact that both Jack Russell terriers decided to have a fit of the naughties at exactly that moment.

The assembly of the syllabub started quietly enough, with the selection of which dishes to use and crumbling of biscuits.  Next was the opening of the wine bottle, which - unusually, these days - was a corked bottle and required hubby to search down a bottle opener.  Son & heir - who has the attention span of a typical teenager - couldn't wait for hubby's return and to entertain himself, wandered out into the garden to investigate what the terriers were up to.

The terriers were being entertained by next door's terrier, who was chasing a huge green ball around his garden.  Well, any sight of a ball demands 100% attention from our little gang - and they were jealously watching every move, just in case the ball flew over the fence - when they'd have pounced.

Having been recalled to the kitchen, son & heir (following another hand washing) then got on with the whipping of the cream, which went without incident.

That'll be Rosie, then ...
It was about this time that all hell seemed to break loose.  It seems that our shortie Jack Russell, Basil, had limbo danced under the fence and was also chasing the ball around the garden, followed by a semi-hysterical Papillion cross terrier and said neighbour's 6 yr old daughter, who was screaming at the top of her lungs with excitement.  No. 2 Jack Russell, Rosie, was semi-hysterical because she couldn't fit under the fence in the same way and was trying to hurl herself at the fence, in the hope of somehow flying over the top - accompanied by lots of maniacal barking.

Basil was returned by the neighbour and put back on the right side of the fence, whereupon he immediately went and limbo danced straight back under it again.

So you can imagine, there's poor hubby and son trying to gently fold dessert wine into whipped cream - with all this bedlam going on in the background and our neighbour calling them to take Basil back across the fence.

Enough was enough - both dogs were confined to barracks and the kitchen door was closed.  I believe that hubby may have taken a deep breath prior to continuing with overseeing son & heir's dessert assembly, but I'm not sure he had time - what with all the sweary words that were being bandied about.

Phew!  Made it - Lemon Curd Syllabub ... simply scrumptious
It truly is a wonder that the dessert happened at all, in the circumstances.  Son & heir (and hubby!) prevailed though - and we all enjoyed outrageously rich, lemony, creamy spoonfuls of calorie laden loveliness for our dessert.

Regrettably, although he enjoyed everything else, son & heir didn't enjoy the wine aspect of the dish - although both hubby and I did, very much!  Hence, if you're considering making this for children below the drinking age, I would miss out the wetting of the biscuit crumbs with the wine for them.

This is very definitely not a dessert that I would want with any regularity, but as a special one-off bowl of complete deliciousness - you just can't go wrong.

LEMON CURD SYLLABUB by James Martin    (feeds 3)

Ingredients :

75g mascarpone (we used light mascarpone)
3 shortbread biscuits (we used strawberry shortbread biscuits, which were yum)
75ml white dessert wine
212ml double cream
3 tbsp icing sugar
90ml lemon curd.

Method :

1.  Crumble a biscuit into each sundae glass and moisten with equal quantities of half of the wine.

2.  Whip the cream, sugar and mascarpone and when it reaches soft peaks, fold in the remaining wine.

3.  Swirl in the lemon curd, taking care not to ensure a marbling of yellow through the cream - so don't mix it too much!

4.  Spoon the mixture into the glasses.

5.  You can scatter with toasted almonds and a mint sprig, but ours had escaped and been eaten by the slugs, respectively, so we didn't worry about this bit!


Printable version



  1. This looks and sounds scrumptious!

    1. It was about as naughty as any creamy, sweet dessert could be, Carole - but you're absolutely right - it was scrumptious. :)

  2. Hi Jenny, how about linking this in to Food on Friday: Lemons and limes? Cheers

    1. Thanks for the heads up - I will! :)

    2. thanks for linking in, Jenny - this is one, I am definitely going to try. Have a great week.


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