Recipe: Lemon Brulee

This isn't so much a recipe, but rather a technique to take a classic pairing and tweak it a bit for something to spice up your bivalves. Charring or caramelizing the lemon lessens a bit of the sharp acidity, while deepening the aromatics of the oils into a toasty and smoky property. Once burned, these lemons can be squeezed onto shucked oysters, chopped into a mignonette with ample black pepper for razor clams, or folded into an aioli to accompany crab or shrimp.

lemon brulee Aioli

lemon brulee Aioli

Ingredients:
2 lemons, cut in half
Fruity olive oil
Raw sugar (optional)

Equipment:
Grill; brulee torch, broiler

Grill: Rub the cut side of each lemon with olive oil and place over high heat. Leave the lemons on until they have black marks, but the whole lemon is still intact. set aside to cool before using. 

Torch: Set lemons cut side up on either crumpled foil or salt (so they don't roll away), and slowly blacken the lemon from the rind inward. For a sweeter effect, sprinkle a few granules of raw sugar onto the lemon, allowing the sugar to burn. (The sugared burnt lemon combined with some heat like chile flake or sriracha would be a great addition to a cocktail sauce). Cool completely before using.

Broil: If you don't have a grill or torch handy, simply place your lemons on a sheet tray with some crumpled foil (so they don't roll away), and broil on high until the color of the edges of the lemon start to darken. Again, allow to cool before using.

Be creative and as always, eat more oysters! (and clams, and crab, and mussels...)

Lemons charred with brulee torch

Lemons charred with brulee torch