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PITTSFIELD — There is almost nothing that says summer like the taste and smell of lemon. Tart, citrusy and as bright as a day in June.

Members of The Eagle features department are sharing their favorite recipes that call for lemon — desserts, entrees and a cooling cocktail. Enjoy!

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LEMON BLUEBERRY BREAD PUDDING

Lemon and blueberry is one of my favorite flavor combinations. I always grate a little lemon rind into my blueberry muffin batter and I love blueberries served along with lemon pound cake and a dollop of whipped cream. This bread pudding is my summer pudding. Save the cinnamon and raisin bread pudding for cold weather and try this tangy, sweet version.

Robin Anish, Eagle food columnist

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups challah (preferably) or Italian bread (crusts removed) cut or torn into 1-inch cubes

4 teaspoons lemon zest

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

3 tablespoons butter

2 cups half and half

3/4 cup sugar

4 large eggs, beaten

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pinch of nutmeg

Optional: sweetened whipped cream

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 2-quart casserole dish.

Put half of the bread cubes in a casserole dish and sprinkle with half of the lemon zest. Scatter half of the blueberries over bread cubes and repeat the process. Dot with butter.

Whisk together half and half, sugar, eggs, lemon juice, salt and nutmeg until thoroughly combined. Pour over bread cubes. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted 1 inch from center comes out clean.

Serve warm or cold with a dollop of whipped cream

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ROASTED LEMON SHRIMP

Lemon shrimp is one of those dishes where less is more. Less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying, that is. An entree or appetizer, shrimp roasted on a bed of lemons and a generous amount of flavorful herbed butter is so quick and easy to prepare, but so delicious.

— Robin Anish, Eagle food columnist

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 pounds extra-large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 large lemon or 2 small, thinly sliced

1 packet Italian dressing seasoning mix

1 stick butter

1 large clove garlic, minced

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lay lemons in one layer in a pan, arrange shrimp in one layer over lemon slices and sprinkle with seasoning mix. Melt butter with garlic and drizzle over shrimp. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until shrimp have just turned pink. Serve immediately while hot.

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NO-CHURN LEMON ICE CREAM

This recipe adds lemon juice and lemon zest instead of bourbon to Martha Stewart's vanilla ice cream and the results are amazing! There's just enough lemon here to turn this dessert into a subtle, creamy, tropical treat that's not sour at all. This recipe is even simple enough to make with the kids. And since you can add anything you want to ice cream, why not add some lovely toasted coconut? Or make it with lime and coconut (and a little rum) for a cocktail-inspired treat for you instead.

Meggie Baker, calendar editor

(From Keep It Sweet Desserts and Martha Stewart)

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups heavy cream

One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:

Whisk together sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice and set aside.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat cream on high speed for several minutes, just until stiff peaks form.

Once the cream is ready, fold it into sweetened condensed milk mixture.

Pour ice cream into a regular-sized loaf pan or storage container and freeze for 6 hours or overnight before serving.

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ORANGE BROWNIES

I know, the recipe title is Orange Brownies; however, I use lemon extract, lemon juice and lemon zest in place of the orange. I've also used lime and, my son's favorite, a mix of lemon and lime.

— Margaret Button, associate features editor

(Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen)

Yield: 24 squares

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

4 eggs

2 teaspoons pure orange extract

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 13-by-9-by-2-inch pan and set aside. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar and salt. Add butter, eggs, orange extract, and orange zest and beat with a handheld electric mixer until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until light golden brown and set. Remove from oven and pierce the top of the entire cake with a fork.

Glaze: Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stirring until smooth. Pour glaze over cake. Cool cake and cut into squares.

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FROZEN LEMONADE PIE

This pie is a nice refreshing — and easy to make! — dessert on a hot summer day.

— Margaret Button, associate features editor

(Recipe courtesy of the Neelys)

INGREDIENTS:

Graham cracker crust:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup granulated sugar

7 tablespoons butter, melted

Lemonade filling:

One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk, chilled

One 12-ounce container whipped topping, thawed

One 6-ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate, unthawed

1 teaspoon candied lemon peel, for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, stir together the cracker crumbs, sugar and the melted butter until combined and resembles a wet sand mixture. Pour into a pie plate and press the mixture firmly along the bottom and sides. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

For the filling: In a large bowl, add the sweetened condensed milk and whipped topping. Fold the two together gently until combined, being careful to keep the mixture light and fluffy. Add the lemonade concentrate and continue to gently fold. Be sure to avoid letting the mixture get too liquid-y. Pour the filling into the pie crust. Place in the freezer to chill overnight.

Sprinkle with a little candied lemon peel and serve!

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CHICKEN SCALOPPINI WITH LEMON

This is an elegant dish that can also be used with veal. It can be prepared in under an hour, and that includes the baking time. My friend, Donna, served it to my husband and me during a visit to her home in Boston and it immediately became one of our go-to favorites.

— Margaret Button, associate features editor

(From the Boston Museum of Fine Arts Cookbook II)

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS:

3 boneless chicken breasts, cut in half

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 cup seasoned bread crumbs

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons oil

6 wafer-thin slices of lemon

6 thin slices of Swiss cheese

1 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Dip chicken in lemon juice, pat with flour, then dip in beaten egg and bread crumbs.

Heat butter and oil in a heavy skillet and brown chicken on one side. Remove and place chicken cooked-side down in an oven-proof baking dish. Cover each piece with a slice of lemon and a slice of cheese. Pour cream over the top and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until cheese melts and cream bubbles.

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LEMON COOLER

This works with almost any wine, use a white for regular lemonade, red or rose for pink lemonade. Refreshing on a hot day.

— Becky Drees, features designer

(Courtesy "500 Treasured Country Recipes" from Martha Storey and Friends)

Yield: 1 serving

INGREDIENTS:

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Sugar to taste

4 ounces dry or sweet wine — white, rose or red

Seltzer

Lemon slice or raspberries, optional

DIRECTIONS:

Mix the lemon juice, sugar and wine in a collins glass with cracked ice. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Fill the glass with seltzer.

Garnish the glass with a lemon slice and raspberries, if desired.

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LEMON SQUARES

These are the perfect sweet and tangy summer treat.

— Becky Drees, features designer

(Courtesy "500 Treasured Country Recipes" from Martha Storey and Friends)

INGREDIENTS:

Crust:

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

Filling:

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Grated zest of 1 lemon

Topping:

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon butter

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the sugar, salt and flour; cut in the butter. Pat the dough into an 8-inch-square pan and bake 15 minutes. Remove from the oven.

For the filling, beat together all the ingredients and spread on top of the crust. Return to the oven and bake for 25 minutes longer. Cool.

To make the topping, blend all the ingredients using a small whisk. If necessary, add more sugar to make a good spreading consistency. Spread onto the filling and let set until the top is hardened. Cut into 2-inch squares.


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