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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Citrus at Christmas Time

Christmas has long been greeted with a great variety of citrus. The pieces of citrus fruit seem to resemble shining pieces that bring with them memories of warm sunny days gone by. Many types of citrus fruit comes into season over the cold winter months. Perhaps you all ready knew that citrus fruit seems to be at its best in the cold winter months.

Displayed in large decorative trays, greeting the guest in trays of desserts and piled high in intricate bowls. Citrus fruits were once a luxury that was nearly impossible to get. The average family was not able to see fresh citrus fruit. However, in the southern part of the United States it was nearly against the right of all man kind to not put citrus in the child's stocking

Sweet, seasonal citrus would find its way into the stockings hung by care. The arrival of the citrus season was well welcomed by the Southern part of the United States. The seasonal treats would be hoarded away and offered up as treats in children Christmas stockings. Not all families would be able to reach the fruit until the advent of the railroad. With the invention of the railroad quick transportation was at hand and finally the perishable fruit could be carried to where they lived.

Tradition of Oranges at Christmas::
It was a Bishop Nicholas later known as Saint Nicholas that had inherited a great fortune early in life but rather than use the money on himself he chose to help those that could not help their selves. One family that he helped was a single father and his 3 daughters. Because the small family was poor the girls had no dowries and thus could not get married.

Bishop Nicholas wanted to help and tied 3 sacks of gold together and tossed down family chimney The coins landed in the girls stockings hanging by the fire. Since that time the tradition of citrus being inside of Christmas.

For the cupcakes:
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
lemon zest of two lemons
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice about 2 lemons
1 stick 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure lemon extract
For the icing:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
4 oz. cream cheese softened
Juice and zest from 2 lemons
Generous pinch of salt
4 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar

Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cupcake tins by using liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and, working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light.
Beat in the extracts and lemon juice, then add one-third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated.
Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
Give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Place the batter into the cupcake tins.
Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean. Cool on wire rack.
To make the icing: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, thoroughly mix together the butter and cream cheese. Add the lemon juice, zest, and salt and mix to combine. On low speed, add the confectioner’s sugar, one cup at a time until you reach the desired spreading consistency. To finish, frost the cooled cupcakes

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