Lemons were one of the most precious cooking ingredients during rationing – for their promise of sunnier shores, for the sharp clear flavour from only a few drops. My grandfather supposedly threw out the juice of a lemon, carefully squeezed, patiently waiting to go into a cake. He thought it was cabbage water. That my granny tells the story fifty years later means it must have been special.
Of course, there is nothing nice than her lemon drizzle cake, the sharp juice seeping into the warm sponge, a layer of sequinned sugar left on top.
- To perk up any drab cake: pour a mix of granulated sugar and lemon juice over a cake just out of the oven, let it absorb the goodness.
- Mix lemon juice with creme fraiche for a cooling side to spicy chickpea fritters.
- Blend the zest with more sugar for a fragrant blend to liven up shortbread cookies and scones.
Grapefruit too seems to go with everything – especially because of its brash pink flesh, just sour enough to suck.
- Make an instant yoghurt sorbet with grapefruit juice, freeze and enjoy. Serve with the famous lemon pudding!
- Use the grapefruit in a happy winter salad: feta and croutons and endives and prosciutto.
- Try grapefruit jellies with jewelled pomegranate seeds suspended inside.