One of my favorite things about island life is the abundant supply of lemons and, with our own little tree in the garden, the availability of freshly squeezed juice just mere steps away. As a long time lover of lemons (and generally all things tart), I've been using them wherever I possibly can. Lemonade, cake, chicken, rice, bars, tea, fish... The list goes on, yet still I continue to search out new ways to cash in on our yellow bounty.
|our little lemon tree|
The other day a friend asked me if I had any good dessert recipes. With my standard disclaimer that I am more cook than bake, I asked him what type of desserts he liked. When he responded with liquid-ish items, including yogurt and vla, my interest peaked; these are the types of desserts that are right up my alley. For those who don't know what vla is (don't worry, neither did I), it is a Dutch custard product that, to the best of my wiki knowledge, is similar to flan. This same friend, just moments before posing the dessert question, had recited a recipe for eggs that incorporated lemon juice. I took a quick mental stock. I knew he liked lemon. I knew he ate eggs. I knew he enjoyed the consistency of custards. I knew exactly what to make.
|bowl of lemons|
Lemon curd (or spread) is one of those items I always find myself stopping to look at in the grocery store. I consider it and then put right back on the shelf. Aside from the exaggerated price, I am generally disappointed with products containing prefabricated pie filling (blame my mom for spoiling me with homemade lemon meringue) and I am quick to assume that the fancy jelly aisle jars contain precisely that. It looks good in theory, but I know better than to be tempted by pretty packaged promises.
|juicer w/cut lemon|
Fresh lemon curd is seriously as simple as zesting a couple of lemons, squeezing out the juice and mixing it with sugar, eggs, and butter. I'm not going to go through the motions of telling you exactly how to make it, instead I will just cut to the chase and suggest that you use the recipe posted at joyofbaking.com; the results were simply to die for and I couldn't explain it any better myself. Do yourself one better and bake her cream scones too. You'll thank me (and Joy of Baking) for it later.
At first taste, I immediately announced that the spread was way too sweet. Then I instantly changed my mind and deemed it far too tart. My confused mouth sent mixed messages to my brain, and I took a good couple of minutes to battle it out in my mind; Sweet? Tart! Sweet! Tart? I argued with myself as I continued taking tastes. Whatever it was, it was good, so we loaded our basket with scones and went out to the terrace to enjoy the luscious lemon curd in all of its full flavoured glory.
|lemon curd w/cream scones|
Sweet... Tart... Sweet... Tart... I honestly couldn't decide. That's how I knew it was perfect.