Tuesday, April 28, 2015

April Conservation Tip

Yummy Lemon Curd

I just recently made a batch of lemon curd. Fascinated by it's golden color, I could not resist to photograph my result and "boast" it on facebook. To my very surprise it got a lot of likes...and the request for sharing the recipe. The idea for the April Conservation Tip was born.

In a recent discussion I was asked why I share recipes for homemade goods in my conservation tips, shouldn't we rather save the rain forest instead of preparing food at home.
Well, I think I'm doing just that...
By preparing homemade food, I'm saving food miles, I can avoid GMO, I know exactly what is in the pot and I can support local and/or organic farmers. Just as example, by offering my family homemade "Nutella" and lemon curd as spreads we have an alternative to products containing palm oil. This very directly saves the rainforest!

This 11 year old student also makes a very clear why we should pay more attention to what we eat in his short presentation:

Ok, enough lecturing, let's make the lemon curd!

You will need:

4 (large) to 6 ((small) lemons, (organic) Meyer lemons are especially tasty for this recipe
zest of two lemons
1/2 cup / 125 g butter, try homemade butter 
1 1/2 cup / 375 g sugar, how about organic fair-trade?
4 eggs, well beaten, nothing will beat my girls' eggs, but organic, free range should do, too...;-)

The Meyer lemon is a citrus fruit originally coming from China and is thought to be a cross between a true lemon and either a mandarin or common orange. It is not quite as sour as a normal lemon and will give the lemon curd a wonderful aroma.

In addition to normal household items, a double boiler and a zester or microplane come in handy. If you don't have a double boiler, a smaller pot put into a bigger pot with simmering water will do, too. Just be careful to not spill water in the curd or on your hands.

Zest the lemons, although you only need the zest of two lemons for this recipe, I always zest all the lemons and freeze the left-over zest to use it later for baking or cooking.
Squeeze the lemons.
In the double boiler melt the butter, slowly add the lemon juice and the zest. Once mixed, add the sugar. When the sugar has dissolved add the very well beaten eggs slowly under constant stirring into the mixture.
Now "cook" the curd for 15 to 30 minutes over barely simmering water. Stir occasionally. The curd will slowly but surely thicken. In the end it should be smooth and creamy. Fill in sterilized jars and seal immediately.

Once completely cooled down I store the curd in the refrigerator. The lemon curd will be good for a couple of weeks. Since lemon curd also freezes very well, I usually double the recipe and then freeze what I think we won't eat within the next weeks.
Depending on the size of your lemons and eggs this recipe will result in about 3 to 4 cups of curd.
The curd is delicious on toast, bagels and all other kinds of baked goods, goes well over fruit sorbets and gives a smoothie a nice tang.


Thanks to From the Ground Up for going that extra mile and ordering the Meyer lemons for me!
Recipe adapted from: Art of Preserving by Jan Berry

To find out how to make homemade Nutella, butter and toast, just click on the underlined links in the text.

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