Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Lemon Curd (More Appetizing Than it Sounds)

When I first moved to England there were a number of new tastes I had the pleasure (or not) of discovering. Salt and vinegar flavoured crisps (yes!), Marmite (no!), lemon barley water (yes), Ribena (not so much), tea (took me a while, but yes!), Christmas pudding (with all the will in the world, no).

Lemon curd I loved at first bite,even the store-bought variety, but it wasn't until a friend gave me a small pot of homemade that I really came to appreciate its rich, silky, tangy lusciousness. A few years ago, on a visit to my parents, I took the opportunity to pick a handful of lemons from one of their trees and attempt a batch of my own. It's surprisingly easy, if somewhat time-consuming, and you do have to pay attention. I made another batch while we were there at Christmas and then another last week when we had company to dinner. I'm kind of addicted now.

There are various ways you can choose to make it: directly in a pan, or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water; with yolks only or with a combination of yolks and whites. Liking a culinary challenge (and feeling, obscurely, that taking shortcuts in cooking is somehow "cheating") and also the richest taste, I've only made the yolk-only, water-bath way. Eventually I'll try one of the other methods and see if it really makes any difference.

The recipe I've been using is this one from Chowhound. Mom and Dad have a couple of Meyer lemon trees so that's what I used at Christmas and I loved it so much I searched out Meyers to make it at home as well. I think some people like the sharper taste of regular lemons in curd, but to me the fragrance of Meyer lemons is an ecstatic experience, so I adore the curd it makes.

I am very bad at remembering to take pictures of food so this picture is not mine - I got it from The Galley Gourmet website - it just looks so gorgeous, I couldn't resist it. I'll try and remember to take pictures next time I make it!


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