Nothing speaks of mid-Winter in Melbourne quite like the golden wattle. With a choice of bare deciduous or lush green rain-fed under-growth, our early winter neighbourhood landscape generally lacks imagination. Suddenly as the season gets into its stride, strollers, joggers, cyclists and commuters are met with glorious bursts of vivid yellow, and the collective relief can be heard in communal expression, ‘the wattle is out!’
The distance travelled is relatively small for my first glimpse of the golden beauty. Not far short of my mail-box, a neighbour has a majestic specimen lighting up our grove. Throughout the year it blends chameleon-like in an ash-green shade amongst other leafy companions putting on their summer display. As the season pulls out its crispest of days, the summer pretties are leafless and forgotten – but now the wattle takes centre stage.
And fortunate we are, as short drive through our district reveals an incredible variety. The early flowerers are now fading, the golden is in her prime and others are poised to burst. A spectrum of gold has painted our neighbourhood, it surely is Winter.
Wattle, though magnificent an outdoor display, does not fare well indoors. It’s pungent aroma tickles the allergies and the tiny florets sprinkle the surfaces. So for us, indoor winter gold must come in this form:
Lemon Delicious pudding. All things golden: butter, egg yolks, lemon and crust. Gold.
100g softened butter
grated rind and juice of 1 large lemon
2/3 cup caster sugar
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sifted SR Flour
1 1/4 cups milk
icing sugar to dust
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease a casserole dish.
Cream the butter with the lemon rind and sugar.
Beat in the egg yolks.
Stir in the flour alternately with the milk.
Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture with the lemon juice, lightly and gently.
Pour into casserole dish and bake for 45-50 minutes.
Dust with icing sugar and serve hot with cream or ice-cream.
Postscript: So as the neighbourly tree lit up our street, this lemony pudding did its part shining in the kitchen.