This recipe for madeleines à la crème au citron was given to me by my friend Frankie Unsworth who, like me, studied pàtisserie at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. The batter can be made in advance and then baked in time for tea: madeleines should always be eaten fresh from the oven.
Beat the eggs with the sugar until pale and frothy. Put the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl and add the lemon zest.
Mix the honey and milk with the cooled butter, then add to the eggs. In two batches, fold in the flour. Cover and leave to rest in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight.
Meanwhile, make the lemon curd. Put the lemon zest and juice, salt, sugar and butter into a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar and butter have melted. Remove from the heat.
Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl, then add to the pan and whisk vigorously. Return the pan to a low heat and whisk constantly as the curd starts to thicken. Don’t stop whisking or the eggs will curdle (if the curd starts to boil, take off the heat). Once the curd thickens and releases a bubble or two, remove from the heat and pass the curd through a sieve into a bowl. Place cling film in direct contact with the curd and refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably overnight.
When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Butter and flour a 12-shell madeleine tin. Put the lemon curd into a piping bag fitted with a small, pointed nozzle and place in the fridge.
Put a heaped tablespoon of batter into each madeleine shell and press a raspberry deep into the batter.
Bake for five minutes and turn the oven off for one minute (the madeleines will get their signature peaks), then turn the oven on to 160C/325F/Gas 3 and bake for a further five minutes. Transfer the madeleines to a wire rack and leave for a few minutes until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, wash and dry the tin, then repeat the baking as for the first batch.
While the second batch is baking, pop the piping nozzle into the mound in each baked madeleine and squirt in a teaspoon’s worth of lemon curd. Repeat with the second batch, then dust with icing sugar and serve straightaway.
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