Words: Extracted from Gennaro’s Limoni: Vibrant Italian Recipes Celebrating The Lemon By Gennaro Contaldo, published by Pavilion Books.
Images: David Loftus.
Gennaro’s recipes are big on flavour without the heaviness of too much fat, intriguingly
simple, and the ingredients easily available. In his words the end results are, “So good!” He is, after all, Jamie Oliver’s mentor. You’ll find recipes like Gelato al Parmigiano e Limoni (Parmesan and lemon ice-cream) which combines sweet and savoury, an increasingly popular trend in Italy. For a twist on the classic Christmas trifle, try Gennaro’s version instead, with the fresh flavour of lemon. What else?
Gennaro’s Limoni: Vibrant Italian recipes celebrating the lemon by Gennaro Contaldo (Pavilion Books).
ZUPPA INGLESE AL CIOCCOLATO E LIMONE CHOCOLATE AND LEMON ITALIAN TRIFLE
Zuppa Inglese has nothing to do with soup as its Italian title suggests, and I am not sure how the name came about, but with the custard and sponge biscuits it is very similar to an English trifle. I use the Italian sponge fingers Savoiardi (ladyfinger or sponge biscuits) in this recipe, but you could use leftover pandoro or a plain sponge cake instead.
6 free-range egg yolks
130g (43⁄4oz) caster sugar
50g (13⁄4oz) plain flour, sifted
500ml (18fl oz) hot (not boiling) milk 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
pared rind of 1⁄4 unwaxed lemon and 4 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp cocoa powder, sifted
200g (7oz) Savoiardi biscuits
For the syrup
200ml (7fl oz) water
25g (1oz) caster sugar
50ml (13⁄4fl oz) limoncello (recipe for homemade below)
Grated dark chocolate, grated lemon zest
For the syrup, put the water and sugar in a pan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, pour in the limoncello and set aside.
In a saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar for about 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the flour and continue to whisk until well amalgamated. Whisk in the hot milk, vanilla extract and lemon rind, then place the pan over a low heat, stirring all the time with the whisk or a wooden spoon, until it thickens. Remove from the heat and pour half the custard into a bowl, discard the lemon rind, and stir in the lemon juice. Add the sifted cocoa powder to the remaining custard and mix well until combined.
Dip the biscuits into the syrup and use to line a glass serving bowl. Spoon over a layer of the chocolate custard, then lay more biscuits on top, then a layer of lemon custard. Continue making these layers, finishing with the lemon custard. Decorate with grated chocolate and lemon zest. Store in the fridge until required.