Bomboloni + Meyer Lemon Curd

Bomboloni & Meyer Lemon Curd

I had dinner with a group of inspiring women yesterday, at this renowned restaurant. I could go on and on about the food, the service and the ambience, but suffice to say that it was magical and exquisite, matching every raving review you’ve read about the place.

What elevated the experience though, was the company. Sharing our stories about love, friendships and childhood, there was a common theme: at some point in our past, we chose to decide for our own happiness by breaking away from unhealthy relationships, ending jobs and challenging social expectations. Daunting decisions had to be made, and risks needed to be taken, even if it meant fending off questions from well-intentioned friends who didn’t share our worldview.

But the bigger risk lay in having our lives permanently defined by the specter of unhappiness.

Bomboloni & Meyer Lemon Curd

 

Recognizing and choosing happiness wasn’t – and still isn’t – easy for me. It’s far easier to bemoan the circumstances in one’s life, to focus on what I have no control over, instead of looking at what I can do.

It isn’t easy setting boundaries and removing unhealthy friendships. Or realizing that the time has come to leave the confines of a corporate identity to forge one’s path. Or trying to define and sell yourself when you’re still figuring out what it is that you’re looking for. But as a wise farmer said not too long ago, “Nothing is supposed to be easy, you just have to make it work.”

Indeed.

Bomboloni & Meyer Lemon Curd

So at different points in our life paths, we closed our eyes and leapt for the sake of our own happiness, and yesterday’s dinner was one fine example of the perfect landing. A risk-taker’s reward for daring to dream and push boundaries. It’s moments like this that articulate a lesson I know intuitively, but easily forget when life doesn’t seem to be going my way: When you choose to break free from unhappiness, many blessings follow.

Judging by the friendships forged in the few years that this blog has been around, I have been very blessed indeed.

***

Bomboloni & Meyer Lemon Curd

My lunchmates on Twitter chose “Small Spring Bites” as the theme for this month’s lunch date. With our Meyer Lemon trees in full production mode, it was pretty clear that any Spring recipe needed to feature this sweet citrus fruit. My vessel of choice were little Bomboloni, the smaller Italian versions of their Polish cousins, Paczki.

Bomboloni

Based on the recipe in Gourmet Traveller. I substituted sugar for honey, vanilla paste for orange zest and melted the butter before incorporating it into the batter, as it makes for a smoother mixing process than merely dumping cubes of butter into the dough.

  • 1 pound/ 450 grams all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3½ ounces/ 100 grams sugar
  • ½ cup/ 130 ml water, room temperature
  • 6 teaspoons/ 30 ml milk, room temperature
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons, 45 grams unsalted butter, melted and kept warm
  • Vegetable or corn oil, for deep frying
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Directions

    1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, bring together 3½ ounces/ 100 grams of flour, yeast, half the sugar, and water. Stir the ingredients and mix until smooth. Cover with a plastic wrap and leave to rest in a warm place until the mixture is foamy (about an hour).
    2. Add the milk, egg yolks, vanilla paste and salt to the mixture and use a dough hook on low speed to incorporate the ingredients.
    3. Slowly add the rest of the flour a few tablespoons at a time. Add the melted butter and mix for another 4-5 minutes until the dough is smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
    4. When ready to cook, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, and let it warm up a little before rolling it out, about 15 minutes.
    5. Roll out the dough to half-inch thickness and cut out rounds with a 1.5-inch diameter cutter, discarding the scraps.
    6. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or heavy-bottomed saucepan to 350F/180C. Deep-fry, without crowding the pan, turning each disc once or twice for even browning, until puffed and golden.
    7. Drain on paper towels and roll in sugar before serving with meyer lemon curd on the side.

 

Bomboloni & Meyer Lemon Curd

Meyer Lemon Curd

Based off the recipe in Flour, my version omits vanilla and adds lemon zest to emphasize the heady citrus notes of meyer lemons. This makes 2 cups.

  • 1 cup meyer lemon juice (about 7-8 lemons)
  • 1/2 stick/ 57 grams unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup/ 150 grams sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

Directions

    1. Combine lemon juice, butter and cream in a saucepan, place over medium-high heat and bring to just under a boil.
    2. In the meantime, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks in another heat-proof bowl until well blended. Whisk in the sugar to the eggs and egg yolks.
    3. Remove the lemon juice from heat and whisk it into the sugar-egg mixture, a few tablespoons at a time, until all of it has been incorporated.
    4. Transfer the contents of the bowl to the saucepan and return it to medium heat. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pot continuously to prevent the eggs from scrambling, for 5 to 8 minutes (I took 6 minutes), until the mixture thickens.
    5. Immediately remove from the heat and strain the curd into another bowl. Stir in the salt and lemon zest.
    6. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

 

Bomboloni & Meyer Lemon Curd

Don’t forget to check out other spring bites from fellow lunchers:

38 Comments

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  2. I found your blog from the 2011 Saveur Best Blogs nominations and you have my vote. This is an inspiring post, beautiful photos and the bomboloni look incredibly delicious. I believe it was serendipity that brought me to your blog-I’m getting ready to make a major life change at 61 to that of pastry chef-something that has been my passion my entire life-I am leaping for my own happiness. Stunning blog -thank you for your inspiration .

  3. Barbara Stevelman

    Beautifully written, carefully composed, artfully photographed, luscious recipe. I have a Meyer lemon tree on Sanibel Island, Florida and make Meyer lemon curd every winter and use it in many forms,as well as eating it out of the jar and freezer.

  4. What a gorgeous blog you have, and what a wonderful post. I dream of walking away from my corporate job to do something more meaningful to me and I hope that moment of bravery will come one day (very soon). I adore Bomboloni and can only imagine that they would taste heavenly with lemon curd. I had only heard of Meyer lemons through food blogs but, earlier this year when I was working in the US, I finally came across these gorgeous-scented lemons at Whole Foods and can now understand why everyone raves about them!

  5. Your recipe looks divine and makes me homesick for the Meyer Lemon tree I had in my backyard when I lived in Saratoga. I miss the tree but not the relationship I left there so I really related to what you so eloquently shared in your post. There is nothing that compares to strong, loving, girlfriends who hold you up when you are down and are there to celebrate your life’s triumphs when you rise. Mine helped me create a business plan for Pity Party Planning! And yes, happiness is a choice and a good one. I am happy for you and your success with your new business. Cheers!

  6. YUM! I will have to post a link to this on my blog! Only thing though, why in the world would you discard the sought scraps?? I would cut them up into small pieces, will them into balls and get them as well!! Waste not want not as my grandmother always said. I will be making these soon and piping the lemon curd into the doughnuts. 🙂

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