Fillo Cups with Lemon Curd and Candied Sour Cherries / by Anthony Michael Contrino

This is the perfect dessert to make when unexpected company drops by.  I often keep lemon curd in my freezer, where it can live for months, just in case I feel like making ice cream, a lemon tart, or these tasty fillo cups.  While we're talking about lemon curd, I dare you to find a better recipe than this one.  It is a version of the lemon curd I made when working in France.  The fact that there's a whole pound of butter probably has something to do with it!  Candied cherries (These are sour, but you can use bing.  Just know they'll be very sweet!) are another great item to keep in the fridge.  Just like the curd, these preserved cherries can live in the fridge for a while.  

As far as the fillo cups, I usually keep a couple boxes in the freezer.  They thaw in minutes.  I like to crisp them in the oven for a few minutes.  Make sure they are fully cooled off before filling.

Fillo Cups with Lemon Curd and Candied Sour Cherries

Makes 30

2 boxes fillo cups

2 cups Chef Laurent's Lemon Curd, recipe follows

30 candied sour cherries, recipe follows

Fresh thyme, for garnish

Crisp the fillo cups in a 350 degree oven for 3-5 minutes.  Cool completely.  Fill a pastry bag, fitted with a plain, round tip, with the lemon curd.  Pipe a heaping tablespoon into each cup.  Top with a sour cherry and garnish with thyme leaves.  Serve immediately.

 

Chef Laurent's Lemon Curd

Makes approximately 4 cups

5-ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

3/4 cup of sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

8-ounces unsalted butter, european or european style, refrigerated, cubed

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine the lemon juice, eggs, yolk, sugar and salt.  Whisk until the liquid begins to thicken and steam.  Immediately remove from the heat and pour through a fine mesh strainer into a food processor.  Turn on the food processor and add the butter, one cube at a time, until all the butter is added and has emulsified.  The curd should be smooth and silky.  Transfer the curd to a tupperware.  Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it onto the  top of the curd and refrigerate overnight.  Freeze for up to 3 months.

Candied Sour Cherries

Makes 1 pint

1 cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

1-3/4 cups sour cherries, washed and pitted

2 cups sugar

Place the cinnamon stick and bay leaf in a 16 ounce mason jar.  Add the cherries.  Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, over medium-high heat, combine the sugar with one cup of water.  Cook until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Pour the hot sugar water over the cherries, stopping just 1/4-inch below the rim of the jar.  Cover the mason jar with a lid and screw cap.  Refrigerate at least 1 week before serving.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.