Cornetto alla Lemonilla Crema

This is an apology in advance, but it appears that breakfast is the method of genius right now. Some of my best recipes lately have been breakfast foods, and this is probably the gem of them all! It is also an apology because, if you happen to be in the house alone when you make these, you will eat them all.

I have been on this lemon kick for a little while. It might started when my son spilled vanilla on my counter shortly (with the scent permeating the laminated surface) before I grated some lemon zest. The smell of these two nearly sent me to heaven! My obsession also might have started when I smelled the Lemoncello candle at Bath and Body Works and fell in love with the smell and even the name. I mean, how beautiful does it sound? If it weren’t the name of a type of liqueur, I would consider naming my next child Lemoncello! Alright… maybe not, but still.

 Any way, I got this idea in my head to put it inside a croissant, in the same manner as the Cornetto alla Crema recipe that I posted a few months ago (hence the name of this recipe). But I must admit, I wasn’t completely crazy about that filling, and always intended to improve it. Thinking back on the time when my son spilled the bottle of vanilla on my counter, I knew I had to do a vanilla and lemon filling (let’s be real, this paring is as near to perfection as you will get), and I really wanted it to be a custard.

My first try went well, but the lemon juice slightly curdled the custard base (a.k.a. the milk). I whisked the custard quickly, and it only turned out slightly lumpy. Inside the croissant it was not noticeable, but it was not very enjoyable to eat on its own. The second go around I used coconut milk instead. This was the key to this recipe. I was afraid that the coconut would interfere with my lemon-vanilla duo, but it somehow enhanced the sweet and tangy flavor of the custard.

I am telling you. If you actually get this filling into the croissants before you eat it all, you will be doing great!

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Can’t you just see the flaky goodness of the croissant, and the creamy and tangy lemon custard filling drizzled around the pastry? And because I bought the croissants and merely baked them myself, they are not too labor intensive to make! All you really have to do is whip up the custard and pipe it into the croissant.

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When making the custard, you whisk two portions separately; the milk mixture and the egg mixture. This is a picture of the egg mixture, with the sugar, corn starch, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Observe this beautiful lemon yellow mixture. This is definitely what you need mid-winter as a pick-me-up. Just looking at that color makes me happy!

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These are two custard flavors that I have used with these pastries. On the right (above) is the Lemonilla Crema (Lemon Vanilla Bean Custard), and the left is the Toasted Coconut Custard. The lemon one is my personal favorite, but they are both exquisite. IMG_5378aIMG_5393a


Ingredients:

8 large day-old croissants (or 16-18 mini ones)

1 (15.5 oz) can full-fat coconut milk

2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste

1/2 cup sugar

 2 TBS cornstarch

4 tsp lemon zest (from two small lemons)

4 tsp lemon juice (from two small lemons)

4 egg yolks

Directions:

Mix the coconut milk and the vanilla bean paste in a large sauce pan. Heat over medium heat until all the coconut milk has melted and smoothed.

Meanwhile, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and egg yolks to the sugar mixture and whisk until smooth.

Slowly whisk the coconut milk into the sugar mixture (to warm it without cooking the eggs). Pour back into the pan and continue to heat over medium heat (or medium high if you are in a hurry), whisking constantly, until it boils. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat, stirring occasionally, until it cools.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Put the cooled custard into a pastry bag, with a Bismarck Pastry Tube on the end. Use a serrated knife to puncture the croissants and then fill each with the custard. Place the filled croissants on a baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes, until the tops are golden brown, then place on a cooling rack for 5 minutes before serving.


Coconut Custard Variation:

 If you would prefer a coconut flavored custard, rather than lemon, you can follow this recipe instead of the one above.

1 (15.5 oz) can full-fat coconut milk

2 tsp coconut extract

1/2 cup sugar

2 TBS cornstarch

1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes

4 egg yolks

Directions:

Mix the coconut milk and the coconut extract in a large sauce pan. Heat over medium heat until all the coconut milk has melted and smoothed.

Meanwhile, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Add the egg yolks to the sugar mixture and whisk until smooth.

Slowly whisk the coconut milk into the sugar mixture (to warm it without cooking the eggs). Pour back into the pan and continue to heat over medium heat (or medium high if you are in a hurry). Add the coconut flakes and whisk constantly, until the custard boils. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat, stirring occasionally, until it cools.

 

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