Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Lemon curd

Rainbow over our cul-de-sac this weekend.

Today I made lemon curd, an English treat to be spread on toast and scones like jam. I know, the name "curd" does not make it sound delicious, but it is so wonderful, perfectly tart and sweet and creamy, all at the same time.

It was very special to me for two reasons: first, I made it with Meyer Lemons from our own tree, and eggs from our hens. If you've never had a Meyer Lemon before, they are special - they are crossed with an orange, so they are not so acidic, and they are HUGE. I heard a chef at the Farmers' Market describe them as having a piney flavor, and that is true, but mostly to me they have an incredible floral note.

The second reason is that the recipe came from my Auntie Olive. She wrote it down for me herself on that thin, thin paper people used to use, back when you had to write "Air Mail" on all your international letters. She taught me so much about cooking in season, going to farms and buying directly from the farmers the produce they had to offer, putting up loads of blanched veggies and peeled fruits that we had picked that day, even though we could have easily gone and bought it prefrozen at Sainsbury's.

Auntie Olive is gone, but I think of her a lot when I am cooking, especially in the summer when I make a fruit salad, and today when I make her delicious Lemon Curd. I still marvel at the way she would read a recipe: she would read it slowly from the top of the page to the bottom, her finger skimming every ingredient and the directions. Then she would turn and make the dish, never returning to the recipe again to refresh her memory. She was one smart cookie!

Recipe and photos here.

6 comments:

mr man said...

Wowee.
It didn't take long for that tree to produce in tropical Texas. I'm pretty sure that pile was not the entire harvest. Lemons might be a little out of our reach, but I can't wait to start gardening in CO.

It was great to hear from you last night; made the heart(s) grow fonder. Now, especially, knowing you have lemon curdles in your pantry...

peevish said...

Oh, God, I love lemon curd.

and ditto what mr. man said.

Alissa said...

Dan's Mom makes lemon curd tarts - they are one of my favorite things. Maybe I can request some...

Sinda said...

mmm, lemon curd - I love it on little shortbread tarts with fresh fruit, myself. Or with scones and mascarpone.

My sister and I were commenting recently how, if we are using a recipe, we have to refer back to it iver 3 seconds. It's insane - I WISH I could just read it once!

Emily said...

I miss Auntie Ol, too, although I didn't cook with her as much as you did. I was on the "washing up" crew with Uncle Ken!

A.Norma said...

Yes,Jennifer,Olive was one very special sister-in-law to me too...she was never any different always so pleasant I loved her..ah well we have Ken's 90th to look forward to,huh?