Our lemon tree appears to be falling over. Or at least that is what we thought and propped it up with a sleeper wedge and wires. The reason for its slanted ways was a bit of a mystery as we rarely get high winds and there didn’t seem to be other stress to the tree. The fruit kept coming, juicy and plump and ever so prolific, in fact even more abundant than before. So why the tilt?
The answer came in the angle of the lemon tree as it seemed to be leaning in a particular direction pointing towards the compost pile several meters away. Knowing that citrus have shallow roots that reach out to the circumference of the foliage it all began to make sense. Stepping back and looking more closely I could see that the lemon is spreading its roots to the nourishment nearby and foliage is following. I now wonder how the lemon tree would look without the prop and wires, would it literally be growing vertical towards the compost?!
Such a wonder is nature. I am constantly in awe of the magic and stop often to marvel at it. The garden has been my place of solace this year while writing my book. I thought it would become totally over-grown as this project at times has embraced my every waking moment. But somehow the garden has been my place of thinking and resolution that has helped me make decisions away from the screen, or simply a quiet place when I needed a break from it all. Coincidentally I have had less time to shop at the markets each week so the garden has been our main source of nourishment and it is amazing the creativity that comes when you use what is at hand. So as I wander through the garden and see the sideways lemon with the elderflower in bloom nearby the inspiration is found for another recipe…
Every spring when the elderflower blooms in the garden I harvest a basket-full to make cordial and a batch of infused honey. The honey adds a delicate floral flavour to baking or can be drizzled over yogurt and fruit. Find the recipe HERE, or any mild honey can be used in place of the infused honey. The meringue is the key to this recipe as it holds the air better than whipped egg whites alone for a super light and fluffy pudding.
3 free-range eggs, separated
3 tablespoons elderflower infused honey
1 cup whole milk or coconut cream (I used local product Little Bare Coconut Cream)
zest and juice of 2 lemons
1/3 cup white flour or white spelt flour (gluten-free: use 1/4 cup brown rice flour and 2 tablespoons tapioca starch)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons golden sugar
- In a stand mixer beat the egg yolks and honey until creamy. Slowly add the milk/cream, lemon zest and juice and then fold through the flour and baking soda. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form then add the sugar and beat until glossy, 2-3 minutes. Gently fold the meringue through the lemon custard. Pour into 4-6 ramekins and bake for 25 minutes until just set. Serve warm with a dollop of yogurt and garnish with elderflowers.