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Something Different
Week of: July 2, 2012
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Contact: Alice Bender, (202) 328-7744

Berries and Lemon Make Magic

By Dana Jacobi
for the American Institute for Cancer Research

Part of berry magic is their flexibility. Strawberries and blueberries can be presented casually, elegantly, and so many ways in between.

Most casually, I devour them just after a quick rinse, whole and naked. For elegance, nothing beats strawberries served like jewels in a basket and big, frosty looking blueberries lined up like dark pearls on bamboo skewers. Accompany berries with a crystal bowl filled with homemade lemon curd dip.

For dipping berries, lemon curd should be looser and more tart than the classic curd, which I achieve by making it with less butter and sugar.

Advice for making this golden, tangy lemon curd: be patient. You need to stir it gently for up to 10 minutes, or until it coats a wooden spoon lightly. Let it cool 2-3 minutes before vigorously whisking in the butter. Cool the curd completely before covering. It will still be quite loose and needs refrigerating for at least 12 hours to set up. A day or two is even better.

When local berries are out of season and supermarket ones are costly, this berry parfait made with the lemon curd is another elegant way to enjoy a few fresh blueberries and strawberries. For something more casual, spread the lemon curd on whole-grain toast then top with fresh berries.

Berry Parfait with Lemon Curd Dip

Berry Parfait with Lemon Curd Dip

  • 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt, divided
  • 1/4 cup berries in season, divided
  • 3 Tbsp Lemon Curd Dip, divide
  • 1 whole strawberry with nice leaves

In a parfait glass, layer 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon berries, 1½ tablespoon lemon curd dip. Repeat layers with 2 tablespoon yogurt, 1½ tablespoon berries, 1½ tablespoon lemon curd. Top with 1 tablespoon yogurt, remaining blueberries and whole strawberry.

Serves 1

Per serving (Parfait with curd dip): 210 calories, 6 g fat (3.5 g sat fat), 29 g carbohydrates,
7 g protein, 2 g fiber 25 mg sodium.

Lemon Curd Dip

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, thinly sliced and chilled
  • Whole strawberries, with hulls

In heavy, medium saucepan, whisk to combine egg yolks, sugar and lemon juice. Over medium-low heat, cook while whisking constantly until mixture looks silky and lightly coats a wooden spoon. When you run a finger down back of spoon, it should leave a clear line. This takes up to 10 minutes. If mixture starts to steam, reduce heat.

Off heat, add cold butter and whisk rapidly until combined. Scoop lemon curd into bowl or serving bowl and let stand until room temperature.

Cover lemon curd with plastic wrap, pressing against surface, and refrigerate curd for at least 12 and preferably 24 hours. It will thicken as it chills. Lemon Curd keeps for 4 days, tightly covered in refrigerator.

To serve, set bowl of chilled lemon curd on large plate and surround it with strawberries.

Serves 6. Per serving: About 3 Tbsp.

Per serving (Curd Dip (alone): 152 calories, 6 g fat (3 g sat fat), 24 g carbohydrates,
18 g protein, 0 g fiber 5 mg sodium.

Something Different is written by Dana Jacobi, author of 12 Best Foods Cookbook and contributor to AICR’s New American Plate Cookbook: Recipes for a Healthy Weight and a Healthy Life.


Our Mission: The American Institute for Cancer Research champions the latest and most authoritative scientific research from around the world on cancer prevention and survival through diet, weight and physical activity, so that we can help people make informed lifestyle choices to reduce their cancer risk.

We have contributed over $105 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. Find evidence-based tools and information for lowering cancer risk, including AICR’s Recommendations for Cancer Prevention, at www.aicr.org.


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