21 Feb2007

lemon1

There is just something special about lemons. Lemon juice, lemon rind, stewed lemons, limoncello, lemon tarts, etc. I would have a very hard time choosing just one of four favorite citrus fruits/flavorings: kalamansi, dayap, lemons or oranges, but lemons are definitely in my top 100 ingredients of all time. I don’t know about you, but the fragrance of lemon seems to lift my spirits. It is a very “positive” sniff, if you get my drift. And a little bowl of perfectly zested lemon rind (beautiful fresh firm lemons with no wax coating, a sharp clean microplane zester) provides a great aroma to any kitchen, not to mention makes a stunning photograph, up top. Hmmm, now that I think about it, I think most of the colognes I have found interesting were of a highly citrusy note.

Another form in which one can enjoy lemon flavor is in lemon curd, a rich, bright, intense preparation that is often seen in English desserts or those of commonwealth countries such as Australia. I never did quite get the attraction except that it was intense…I just lemon2never had it in the right context, I think… Here is a fairly simple recipe for lemon curd and I post it now as it is a critical ingredient is some superb lemon squares that a made a while ago. The lemon curd would be good served with an angel food cake or even a butter cake. Warning though, it is intense and should be consumed in very small quantities… The recipe is from Rose Berenbaum in her great book Rose’s Christmas Cookies. You will need 4 large egg yolks, ¾ cup sugar, 3 fluid ounces of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, a pinch of salt, 2 teaspoons of grated lemon zest (I use a microplane zester for the zest in photo up top).

In a heavy non-reactive pan (I used a small enamel covered pot), mix the egg yolks and sugar with a small whisk until blended. Stir in the lemon juice, butter and salt and cook over a medium flame stirring constantly. After about 5-6 minutes, it will thicken and look like a heavier sauce. It should not boil or it will curdle – disaster. When the curd has thickened enough (coats the back of a wooden spoon nicely), then pour it immediately into a strainer set over a bowl. Press the curd with the wooden spoon until most of it is passed through the strainer, get rid of the resideue. Stir in the lemon zest now if you are going to use the curd in a recipe that will be cooked again. Alternatively, if you will use the curd cooled, then add the lemon zest while cooking it. The lemon curd (not Kurd, silly!) tasted absolutely fantastic…and wait till you see it on a “cookie,” that up in the next post, soon…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. sha says:

    my fave would be tart citron….

    Feb 21, 2007 | 5:06 pm

     
  2. MrsA says:

    i love any desert with lemons in it

    Feb 21, 2007 | 6:06 pm

     
  3. linda says:

    i love everything or anything with lemons in it. And when it comes to perfumes I love citrusy and floral ones,too!

    Here’s a quick lemonade recipe – make a sugar syrup by combining sugar and water in a pot and cook until thick and syrupy,slice up some lemons and place a few slices in a tall glass and fill up with ice cubes and some chilled water,pour sugar syrup according to taste and stir and voila! a delicious and refreshing drink! Enjoy!

    Feb 21, 2007 | 6:40 pm

     
  4. Rowi says:

    I love the lemony-yellow colour of your Lemon Curd. Have you tried mixing a dollop of the curd with mascarpone? It’s a match made in heaven…

    Feb 21, 2007 | 7:11 pm

     
  5. millet says:

    lemons are my all-time favorite for anything and everything!

    Feb 21, 2007 | 8:34 pm

     
  6. Maria Clara says:

    Lemons are dear and near to my heart. They are great flavor enhancers. I use lemon curd on my toast too for additional zing and bite and in my buttercream icing to frost and fill my vanilla cakes.

    Feb 22, 2007 | 1:04 am

     
  7. Kieran says:

    My wife makes a variation on the common S’mores that uses lemon curd for the chocolate and ginger snaps instead of graham crackers.

    Feb 22, 2007 | 3:49 am

     
  8. joey says:

    I always make sure we have fresh lemons around for cooking…and I LOVE my microplane zester! Isn’t it just amazing? :)

    Feb 22, 2007 | 9:41 am

     
  9. mila says:

    My salivary glands are working overtime just thinking of lemons and the lemon curd. An old childhood favorite scent was Lancome’s Eau de cologne with its blast of citrus.

    Had dinner at People’s Palace a couple of nights ago and Colin McKay was showing us the limes he sourced from Davao. They’re slightly larger than the Thai limes, but have the same flavor, aroma, and citrusy oils. They’d be great in cocktails too.

    Feb 22, 2007 | 12:17 pm

     
  10. Katrina says:

    MM, that is a beautiful lemon curd! Wait till Lori sees that, she LOVES lemons! have you been to Lemon Cafe in Boracay? They serve lemon curd with breakfast, yum!

    Feb 22, 2007 | 3:31 pm

     
  11. allen says:

    I love lemons!!! Lemon poppyseed cakes, lemon bars, lemony butter coconut cookies, lemonade. Also for my favorite fried eggplant with olive oil, lemon juice and olives.

    Feb 26, 2007 | 10:25 am

     
 

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