The antidote to dark days of winter is citrus desserts

Post holiday dieting gets mighty tiresome in the dark, drab days of winter. The antidote is all those beautiful winter citrus fruits in supermarkets. Yes, it’s nice to put a bowl of clementines on the kitchen table for the kids to grab instead of something less nutritious, but those juicy little orbs also make beautiful curd.

You probably know lemon curd, either homemade or in a jar. To make it with clementines, squeeze some fruits, enhance their juice with lemon, and add a bunch of eggs and sugar. Whisk the mixture over heat until it thickens but does not boil, and spoon the results on your morning toast. For a quick, dressy dessert, whip one cup of heavy cream until it holds soft peaks and fold it into the curd for a sublime mousse.

Citruses are sweeter and juicier in winter, but some markets leave fruits out overnight, so they’re not always fresh. Choose fruits with smooth skin and pick up each piece. If it is heavier than its neighbor, it’s a keeper.

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Our recipe for shortbread calls for lime and ground pistachios. They’re made like old-fashioned slice-and-bake cookies, formed into a log, then cut into rounds and sent to the oven.

A favorite lemon recipe comes from cookbook author Dorie Greenspan, who spends a lot of time in France. Her French yogurt cake, made with vegetable oil, is moist, flavorful, and lip-puckering delicious.

Consider these your warmth and sunshine until the real thing arrives in spring.