Monday, 22 February 2010
As I have said many times in the past, I love lemons. They have to be one of my favourite of all fruits. If I had to choose between chocolate cake and lemon cake, I'd be hard pressed to choose, but I think in the end . . . lemon would overcome.
I just love their fresh clean flavour and that lovely tang. I found myself this weekend having bought far too many lemons. (I have a tendancy to pick up a mesh bag of them almost every time I go to the shops. They come in ever so handy.)
Not a problem though as I also fancied some delicious homemade lemon curd. There is nothing as tasty as homemade lemon curd and it's not as hard to make as some would suppose.
Some handy hints for lemons. Keep them at room temperature and you will get far more juice from them than if you keep them in the fridge. Also give them a good roll between the palm of your hand and the counter top before juicing, and you'll get absolutely the most juice that you possibly can from them! I Love my wooden lemon juicer. It works like a charm and I would not be without one now!
Back to Lemon Curd. This recipe makes rather a lot, but it is such a wonderful thing to have in the fridge. I use it all the time. It is just wonderful spread on warm scones and bread, in between cake layers, on top of ginger biscuits, in crisp pastry tart shells . . . or just spooned out of the jar. Yummo! I am a glutton through and through I do believe!
Of course you can also pack it into jars and gift a few of your friends with some of it. They'll love you for it forever, I guarantee!
Makes about 3 cups
Once you have had proper homemade lemon curd, you will never want to buy ready made again. The fresh made stuff is delicious, and very easy to make. It's a good way of getting rid of that glut of lemons you may have! It's delicious spread on bread, scones or muffins. I love it spread between thin ginger thins and topped with whipped cream, or as a tasty filling in a nice sponge cake.
1 TBS finely grated lemon zest plus 2 tsp of the same
8 fluid ounces (1 cup) fresh lemon juice
265g caster sugar (approx 1 1/3 cups)
4 large free range eggs
6 ounces unsalted butter (3/4 cup)
plus 2 TBS, all cut into TBS sized pieces
Whisk the zest, lemon juice, sugar, eggs and a pinch of salt together in a heavy 2 litre saucepan. Add the butter all at once and then cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly until the curd is thick enough to hold the marks of the whisk and the first bubbles appear and break the surface. This should take about 10 minutes. Immediately pour through a fine sieve into a bowl. Cover and chill before use. This should keep, covered and in the fridge for about 1 week.
Here's another delicious use for some of that Lemon curd. A tasty Lemon Drizzle Cake. mmm . . .
*Lemon Drizzle Cake*
Makes one loaf sized cake
This has to be one of the easiest cakes ever. You just bung everything into a food processor and blitz. Quick, easy and oh so very delicious!!
140g self raising flour (1 cup)
4 ounces butter (1/2 cup)
115g caster sugar (2/3 cup)
2 large free range eggs
2 dessertspoons of lemon curd
the grated zest of one lemon
For the topping:
the juice of 1/2 lemon
2 TBS caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Butter a loaf tin and line with greaseproof paper. Set aside.
Put all the cake ingredients into a food processor. Blend together for 2 minutes. Scrape mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
While the cake is still warm, and before turning it out of the tin, mix the lemon juice and sugar together until the sugar dissolves somewhat, and pour this mixture over top evenly. Let sit for about 10 minutes before removing from the tin to cool completely on a wire rack.
And of course, there is nothing tastier than a fresh piece of Lemon Drizzle Cake with a huge dollop of lemon curd spread over the top of it. Oh, my . . . I must have surely died and gone to heaven . . . .