Friday, April 13, 2012
Something Old, Something New
One of the things that had sparked my curiosity yesterday at the tea house was a recipe for lemon curd. We were served some very flavorful lemon curd with our scones, and I wondered how hard the stuff was to make. I thought I remembered having an old cookbook with a lemon curd recipe so I went digging through my old cookbooks and did find the recipe in a book simply titled Basic Home Preserving, a book published a generation ago.
But this recipe seemed to be awfully time-consuming and labor-intensive...not an uncommon feature with older recipes. So I checked my Ball Blue Book to see if a similar recipe might be included there. Sure enough, in the freezer foods section of the book, a different recipe was given for lemon curd. This one only had one slightly unusual direction: pressing 6 large egg yolks through a sieve to make sure all the whites are removed. Then, sugar, lemon juice and lemon peel are whisked into the egg yolks and the mixture is put over medium heat where it is constantly stirred with a wooden spoon and cooked until the curd coats the back of the spoon. This should only take about 20 minutes. Butter is stirred in at the last, stirred until it melts, and then the curd is placed in freezer jars and chilled until the mixture sets, maybe an hour or so. Finally, pop them in the freezer and you are finished.
The point is, home preserving allows much room for variation. Some of the more complex recipes may have greater depth of flavor, but the simpler versions may well be worth the choosing...