If you were in New York City this past weekend, you know that spring has sprung. And what better way to welcome the warmer weather than some fresh-tasting recipes from chef Tyler Florence, host of "Food 9-1-1" and "How to Boil Water" on the Food Network? Florence was invited on the “Today” show to cook up some favorites from his new book, “Eat This Book: Cooking With Global Fresh Flavors.”
(Serves 6 to 8; preparation time: 1 hour plus at least 2 hours chilling time.)
Warm blueberry madeleines dipped in creamy lemon curd make a great interactive dessert. I’ll put a big platter of madeleines on the table and it’s a free-for-all until you get to the very last, lonely one. Everyone sits there for a while, staring at it ... staring at each other ... trying to be polite, but it’s just not possible. I always end up making more.
To make the lemon curd, bring about 2 inches of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan or double boiler over medium-low heat. Combine the egg yolks, sugar, and lemon juice and zest in a metal or heat-resistant glass bowl or in the top of a double boiler and whisk until smooth.
Set the bowl over — not in — the simmering water (the bottom should not touch the water) and keep whisking. Keep working out that arm, whisking the curd vigorously for a good 10 minutes, until it has doubled in volume and is very thick and yellow. Don’t let it boil. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the butter, a couple of chunks at a time, until incorporated. Refrigerate until the curd is cold and firm.
You can start right away on the madeleines. Sift the flour with the baking powder into a mixing bowl. In another bowl, whisk the sugar and the eggs together until well mixed. Whisk in the orange zest. Then fold in the flour mixture, sifting it over the egg mixture in three batches. When the last batch is almost incorporated, with just a little flour still visible, drizzle the butter over the batter and fold in very gently — you want to lose as little volume as possible. Stick that in the refrigerator until the butter begins to harden, 20 to 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Butter and flour two madeleine molds. When the batter is cold, spoon it into the molds, filling each about two-thirds full. Dot the top of each with 4 or 5 blueberries, pressing them gently into the batter. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let the madeleines cool for a few minutes on a wire rack, then remove.
Serve these babies warm, dipping them into the curd.