Disclosure: I was sent Simply Citrus cookbook for a review. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
I received the Simply Citrus cookbook by Marie Asselin and was surprised at how small the cookbook actually was. But don’t be fooled by its small size, at 128 pages, it contains 60 recipes utilizing citrus in different dishes. Keep reading to find out how you can win a copy of this cookbook!
At first, I thought the cookbook was dessert book, but while flipping through the pages, I saw that there was a spread of basic recipes such as a Citrus Curd (pg.18), to savoury recipes such as Crab, Pomelo and Whipped Avocado Verrines (pg. 98) and fancy desserts such as Sesame Thumbprint Cookies With Yuzu Curd (pg. 121).
Reading through the introduction, it was fascinating learning that Marie’s love for citrus stemmed from when she was a child making lemon meringue pie. The joy she describes in her tasting the tangy lemon filling is apparent. Consequently, all of her cooking and baking would contain lots of citrus, and here she shares her savoury and sweet recipes in this cookbook.
In the Introduction, there is a handy chart of amounts for each fruit in terms of juice and zest, as well as a breakdown of the ingredients and tools used in the book. The chapters are broken down by each citrus fruit, ranging from lemons, oranges, grapefruit & pomelo to kumquat and yuzu. This is handy especially if you have a particular citrus that you have on hand and can reference that chapter to see what you can make with it.
I appreciated the Small-Batch Citrus Marmalade (pg. 21) recipe since not everyone in my family eats marmalade, so it’s nice to have a recipe that’s scaled down. I also tried the Curried Coconut, Lentil, and Shrimp Soup (pg. 46) which was hearty, delicious, and perfect for meatless Friday nights. The lime juice really enhanced and brightened up the soup, and made for a good pairing with the lentils and shrimp.
I made the Coconut Lemon Bars (pg. 32) and really enjoyed the flavour of the tangy lemon filling. The crust was firm with a hint of coconut. The lemon filling reminded me of an eggy curd, without the butter. In fact, there was no dairy in this particular recipe, which was a thoughtful alternative. However, the filling was very sweet even though I had reduced the amount of sugar in the crust. Next time, I will reduce the sugar in the filling to a ½ cup and perhaps add some oat flour to the crust to make it more nutrient dense. The cooking instructions were well written and concise.
Coconut Lemon Bars
Yield: 12 bars or 16 squares
¾ cup all-purpose flour
3⁄4 cup toasted unsweetened shredded coconut
1⁄3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄4 cup melted coconut oil
3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch of kosher salt
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
3⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
Toasted unsweetened shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper, letting it overhang on two sides (this will make it easier to pull the squares out later).
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, coconut, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir the oil into the flour mixture until fully incorporated. Place the dough into the prepared pan, and firmly press down all the way to the sides. Bake the crust until it just starts to brown around the edges, 15–20 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until each one is fully incorporated before adding the next. Add the lemon zest and juice; whisk until the mixture is completely smooth.
Pour the filling over the hot crust. Bake until the filling is just set, 15–18 minutes. The filling should start to turn golden around the edges, and the center should be a bit jiggly (it will firm up as it cools). Let the squares cool completely to room temperature, and then refrigerate for 2 hours before cutting.
Just before serving, dust the bars with powdered sugar and garnish with coconut.
Recipe from Simply Citrus by Marie Asselin, reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.
I’m a visual person who likes to see a photo of the finished dish with each recipe, but unfortunately, this is where the cookbook falls short. There are some recipes that don’t have photos included, which leaves me guessing to what the dish should look like.
If you’re a citrus fruit lover, I would recommend this cookbook for its diverse showcase of citrus use in savoury and sweet dishes.
Author and Food Stylist: Marie Asselin
Photographer: Catherine Côté
Publisher: Gibbs Smith (March 6, 2018)
Hardcover: 128 pages