This selection of lemon desserts makes a show-stopping centrepiece. You can just make one component of the recipe for something more low-key.
Equipment and preparation: For this recipe you will need an ice cream maker.
For the ice cream, heat the sugar and water in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. Add the lemon halves (reserving the hollowed shells), cook for a further 6-10 minutes, then remove the lemons from the heat and set aside to cool.
Heat the milk and cream in a saucepan until just boiling.
Beat the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla seeds in a bowl until pale. Slowly whisk in the cream and milk until well combined. Pour this mixture into a clean saucepan and cook for 5-10 minutes stirring continuously, or until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.
Churn the mixture in an ice cream machine, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Fold in the reserved lemon pulp, then pipe the ice cream back into the hollowed lemons and freeze until needed.
For the battenburg, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease a 20cm/8in square cake tin. Take a 30cm x 20cm/12in x 8in strip of baking parchment and make a 8cm/3in fold in the centre. This will create a division in the cake so that the two differently coloured sponges can be cooked at the same time.
Beat the butter, sugar and flour in a bowl until pale and cream. Beat in the eggs and baking powder.
Divide the cake mixture into two. Add the lemon juice and zest to one half and the liquorice syrup to the other. Spoon the cake batters into each side of the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown.
Remove the cake from the oven and set aside to cool completely. Run a palette knife around the edge of the tin and carefully remove the cakes.
To assemble the cake, first place one sponge on top of the other and trim off the crusty edges so that they are both the same size. Cut the sponges in half lengthways to make four long rectangles. Arrange the rectangles so that they look like a checkerboard.
Sandwich the two pairs of sponges together with lemon curd, and brush the top and sides with lemon curd.
Place the icing on a surface dusted with icing sugar and roll into a large rectangle.
Turn the cake upside down on the icing and brush the underside of the sponges with lemon curd.
Wrap the icing around the cake, pressing it gently onto the surface of the sponges, and press the edges together to make a firm join.
For the custard tarts, preheat the oven to 160C/320F/Gas 2½.
Blend the flour, butter, 40g/1½oz and the whole eggs in a food processor until the mixture come together as a dough.
Roll the dough out to a 3mm/⅛in thickness and use it to line six individual tartlet cases. Leave to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Line the cases with greaseproof paper and baking beans and bake in the oven for 12 minutes, or until pale golden-brown.
Reduce the oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1.
Meanwhile, beat together the egg yolks, remaining 125g/4½oz sugar and vanilla seeds in a bowl until well combined. Beat in the lemon zest and juice.
Heat the cream and milk in a saucepan until just boiling, then slowly whisk it into the lemon mixture.
Pour the mixture into the baked tartlets and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the custard is set.
For the lemonade, heat all of the ingredients in a saucepan until just boiling and all of the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.
Strain the mixture into sterilised bottles. (You can make sparkling lemonade by carbonating the mixture in a home carbonation system.)
For the meringues, preheat the oven to 120C/250F/Gas ½. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff peaks form when the whisk in removed. Gradually whisk in 225g/8oz sugar until stiff peaks form and the mixture is glossy.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large plain nozzle. Pipe small meringues onto the baking tray. Bake in the oven for one hour. Remove the meringues from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
For the lemon curd, put the remaining sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, butter and eggs in a pan and cook on a gentle heat, whisking regularly until the butter has melted. Stir in the cornflour and continue to cook until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Sandwich the meringues together with a spoonful of the lemon curd.
To serve, arrange the desserts on a large serving platter or cake stand and serve the lemonade alongside.
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