Monday, December 31, 2012

Lemon Geranium Custard Cream

Lemon Geranium Pelargonium crispum

 this is my new favourite dessert or dessert accompaniment. it brings the unexpected geranium leaf into the kitchen and not just the window sill, the flavour remains lemony familiar but with a hint of the exotic.

my lemon geranium plant was given to me as a cutting from my friends plant, earlier this year. i had seen a recipe for rose geranium cream in the cookbook: Tartine, from the now famous Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. the recipe itself got me thinking, why not lemon geranium as a substite? im not suoer wild about heavy rose flavours in my desserts anyway. the result was an exciting flavour reminiscent of a lemony turkish delight. its great alongside any sponge cake or as a filling for tarts.

hot milk steeping with geranium leaves

this recipe varies from the usual custard recipe as it calls for the addition of softly whipped cream. this transforms the custard base in to a light luscious dessert. if you are looking for the usual thicker custard recipe, leave out the whipped cream. i would also leave out one geranium leaf if doing so, so the flavour remains subtle.

we served this custard with a lemon and cherry jam birthday cake, which went down a treat. it would be especially good in a tart shell with fresh picked berries, or try it on top of a chocolate cake!


Lemon Geranium Custard Cream
1 pint

500ml (2 cups) whole milk
4 large lemon geranium leaves
115g (1/2 cup + 1 T) sugar
30g (1/4 cup) cornflour (cornstarch)
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons salted butter, softened

175ml ( 3/4 cup) heavy cream, chilled

  • place whole milk into a medium saucepan, add geranium leaves and bring to just under a boil.
  • remove from heat and let sit to steep for 15 minutes
  • meanwhile, wisk together the sugar and cornflour, then wisk in the eggs.
  • strain the milk and toss out the geranium leaves
  • bring the milk back up to under a boil, then carefully wisk in 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg mixture
  • slowly add the next 1/3 of the hot milk, then wisk in the rest
  • return the entire mixture into the saucepan and place on a medium heat.
  • wisk gently till the custard is the thickness of lightly whipped cream. there will be a few bubbles
  • strain the mixture into a clean bowl, let sit for 10 mintues then add the softened butter. wisk until incorporated
  • cover the surface with clingfilm, this prevents a skin from forming on the custard
  • let cool for 30 minutes, refridgerate
  • once the custard has cooled completely, whip the chilled heavy cream to medium stuff peaks, but not overly stiff
  • with a rubber spatula fold the whipped cream into the custard base.
  • serve to your liking as a filling for tarts and cakes, or as a side to another dessert, or alone topped with fresh berries or fruit
the custard will keep for 3-5 days in a sealed container in the refridgerator


  1. I can picture this served as a light and refreshing dessert at the end of a dinner party - perhaps in one of those "Martini"-style glasses, topped with a slice of candied lemon peel and a geranium leaf just for the look of it.

  2. i candied some lemon peel for a new years dessert, we made champagne jelly layered with grapefruit, oranges, and kumquats. your idea is brilliant for a party, will remember that one, thanks!

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  4. Looks simply delicious. I imagine a layered trifle in a glass bowl. I bet it would also work with lemon balm.