Lemon Honeycomb Jelly

I think of church suppers as fertile testing grounds for recipes. I love the sign up sheets that go up on the kitchen bulletin board before big events. What will I make this time? For the roast beef dinner this past weekend, there was a sign up list to make jello salads, and I happened to have a couple of recipes that I wanted to try. This recipe is from More Home Cooking: A Writer Returns to the Kitchen by Laurie Colwin. I highly recommend both this book and her preceding book, Home Cooking.

The amazing thing about this recipe is the fact that you mix all of the ingredients together in one bowl and miraculously it separates into three layers. The bottom layer (which ends up on the top if you turn the jelly out onto a serving plate) is a yellow, clear jelly. The top layer is the "honeycomb" - a pale yellow, airy yet creamy layer that is very delicious. The middle layer is sort of a custard-y combination of the top and bottom.

Not only is this delicious, it's a great way for kids to enjoy "jello" without having the boxed stuff. It's been my experience that Jello makes my kids CRAZY. But this is purely anecdotal.

Lemon Honeycomb Jelly

3 eggs
Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon
1 envelope unflavoured gelatin
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 cups milk (or half & half)
5 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Separate the egg yolks and whites. Whisk together the egg yolks, lemon zest, gelatin, sugar, and whipping cream. Heat the 1 1/2 cups of milk (or cream) to just under boiling and whisk it gradually into the egg yolks. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir the mixture until you have a thin custard. The custard will thinly coat a spoon when it is ready.
Mix in the strained lemon juice. Working quickly, beat the egg whites until they are stiff and fold them into the hot custard. Let the mixture stand for 4 minutes. Pour the mixture into a 1-quart mold or bowl and chill it, covered, overnight. Run a knife around the edge of the pudding, dip the mold in warm water for 10 seconds, and turn the pudding out onto a plate.

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