blossom in my lemon tree
It was my dearest friend Maloah who introduced me to lemon curd, which was apparently a tradition in her family–she used to make it with her mother. And so she continues to spread the joy, gifting bottles on special occasions. In my case, it was a birthday. She had put the curd in a glass bottle, and covered it with a lid, over which she put a small circle of colorful cloth, secured with a ribbon. “That cloth is from Maui!” she beamed. She loves Maui.
While I was grateful for the lemon curd, I honestly didn’t really know what to do with it. It felt like something I ought to know, but lemon curd was not a part of my upbringing, nor were hippies making it when I was exploring healthy foods in San Francisco, and later Amsterdam. Macrobiotic folks would not have approved. Pretty sure.
But those days are over. And lemon curd is a lovely new adventure. So I asked. “Put them on scones!” everyone said on Facebook, knowing I make scones every week or so. I’m not inclined to put anything on a scone, so I continued to explore my lemon curd preferences. What I did discover, that delighted me no end, was that my dear friend Liz in the UK makes lemon curd with some regularity for her family (and they do put it on scones, I think) and they call it lemon cheese. Well, I adore it when I discover that someone I know through social media has something in common in the kitchen–or the garden. You look for connection where you find it. So that was acknowledged. Liz and I and Maloah all make lemon curd (or cheese, depending on your regional preferences). Then Liz posted her recipe for someone, and somewhere about that time the idea for The Lemon Curd Club was born.
What is The Lemon Curd Club? I’m still not entirely sure where it will go. But initially, I’ve been thinking, you simply follow the recipe that I’m about to post below, and send a pic to prove you did it (ha). And you are in. You will officially be part of The Lemon Curd Club. Voila and congratulations! So my early thoughts about this are that it might be refreshing to be able to join a club that does nothing beyond simply being a group of women and men who have made lemon curd. And no, it doesn’t count if you have once upon a time made lemon curd. You needn’t follow this particular recipe–though I encourage you to as it is simply delicious! But to belong to The Lemon Curd Club you have to make a batch starting now, and send us a pic in the comments section. Take your time. 😉 And I have this notion that it might be just fun to belong simply because of that. And maybe we never do another thing together again. Or maybe we do. But this is the start. It makes me happy. It rings with joy. If you are resonating with something so silly and simple and delicious (and who knows how it might change your life?), join us. Oh, yes, and Maloah and Liz are Official Honorary Members, since they basically spurred this on, though they knew not. That’s fine.
So here is this exquisite recipe which I found and then tweaked a bit. And it is heavenly, dear friends. I promise.
Lemon Curd Recipe from the Lemon Curd Club
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/4 lb. sweet butter
1/2 C. freshly squeezed lemon juice
pinch of salt
Noteworthy: While you may begin with whatever grater you have on hand, if you want an excellent result, please do invest in a fine grade microplane zester. You will be so glad you did. It’s a breeze to use and there’s no comparison in quality. Also, you don’t really want to include the white fibre underneath the skin, so this is a sure and easy way to make sure you only skim the outside of the lemon.
OK, so shave off the zest of 3-4 lemons. Then place the zest in your Cuisinart or food processor with the sugar.
Then pulse a few times until it looks like this.
Now in a large bowl, cream the sweet butter. [Folks in the UK or EU: in America we actually most commonly sell salted butter. I always use sweet (unsalted) butter, unless I’m making garlic bread…] Add the sugar/lemon zest mix. Then add four eggs, one at a time. Please use large organic eggs. The better the ingredients, the better the result. Always. Then add the 1/2 C. lemon juice, making sure no seed bits made their way into the juice. And the pinch of salt. Mix it up. You should now have this:
Now. Warning. This is the single thing that could go horribly wrong and I don’t want you to learn this the hard way, like I did. Sort of. (I salvaged it, but it was a disappointment.) For what you now do is to transfer the above mixture into a thick 2-quart pan and you put the heat on low, and you stir and stir and stir and stir until it thickens. If you think you can do the washing up or let the cat out or whatever, rather than to keep stirring, you are flirting with disaster and you will be sooo annoyed with yourself. (And I promise not to say I told you so.) But really, this is where a bit of patience is required. Probably about 10 minutes worth. And the results are just scrumptious (or scrummy as they say in the UK!).
And then what I do is to put the lemon curd is several small bottles, as I always end up giving some away and it’s such a lovely gift for a neighbor, or a friend who stops by. So here is my batch from today, cooling in jars.
When they are cool, place a thin layer of plastic wrap over the jar, and place in frig. Or you can add a traditional canning lid.
Let us know when you’ve made a batch of lemon curd and join The Lemon Curd Club! And please let us know how you use it! I’m envisioning friends from near and far! All joined together by a yummy recipe! Who knows where this will lead??
Love and kitchen blessings,
PS: You can always eat it directly out of the jar…And I bet you do!! Haha! 😉
Book News: Many thanks to those who came to my book event at Copperfield’s Books in Healdsburg last weekend! It truly was fun! Also, just learned that GreenPrints magazine–highly recommended–will be publishing another excerpt from Plant Whatever Brings You Joy in the fall. Wonderful! Thanks also to those who have recently subscribed to this blog–and to those who have taken time to write reviews of my book on Amazon. Each one is a treasure beyond measure. THANK YOU!!
Posted on May 29th, 2016 by Kathryn
Filed under: People at Play | 12 Comments »