Friday, May 04, 2007

Pot Luck or Planning Ahead?

For Lemon Curd, there seem to be quite a few different recipes, some use whole eggs but the following recipe uses just the yolks - which then, of course, leaves you with the whites. With these egg whites you can make meringues or (best of all) my Soft Scoop Ice-cream.

Lemon Curd:
8 oz (225g) sugar lumps, or gran./caster sugar
4 oz (110g) butter, pref.unsalted
3 lemons, pref. unwaxed
4 egg-yolks
If using waxed lemons, wash under a hot top. Rub the lumps of sugar over the peel to absorb the lemon oil. If not using lumps, finely grate some of the the zest and use this instead. Lightly beat the lemon juice into the egg yolks and put into a basin with the sugar, butter and zest. Placc over a saucepan of boiling water, the water should touch the bottom of the basin, and cook until the mixture has thickened - this can take about 20 minutes and keep stirring all that time. Pour into clean warm jars which have clean screw-top lids. When cool keep in the fridge.
Lemon curd does not have a long-shelf life. Eat within a month.
Tip: If you have a food processor, whizz together the sugar, egg yolks, softened or melted butter, lemon juice and zest, and then pour into the bowl and continue cooking over hot water. This helps to cut a few minutes off the cooking time.
I believe Lemon Curd can also be made in a microwave. If anyone has done this - please let us know the procedure.
Note: In a much earlier posting (before Xmas I am sure) there was an excellent recipe given for Lemony Apple Curd.

While searching for the above recipe I came across this unusual one which - although sounding strange - tastes absolutely wonderful.
Apricot and Carrot Jam:
8 oz (225g) dried apricots*
8 oz (225g) grated carrots
1 orange
2 large lemons
2 lb (900g) sugar
1 1/2 pints (300ml) water
* use the 'proper' dried apricots, not the no-soak kind - although you can experiment if you wish.
Soak the apricots overnight in the water then bring to the boil until softened. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, put the carrots into another pan with half a pint of water (450ml), and the grated rind and juice of the orange and the lemons. Add the lemon shells to the carrots to help extract pectin. (If you have some muslin, tie the lemon shells and its pips into this and add this to the carrots).
Bring to the boil and simmer for about an hour until the carrots are very, very soft. Remove the pieces of lemon. Whizz the carrots with their liquid in a processor to make a smooth puree then add to the pan of apricots with the sugar. Heat until the sugar has dissolved then bring to the boil. After about 20 minutes the jam should be at setting point. Bottle up in hot, sterilised jars and seal.
Tip: A good way to gauge setting point of marmalades and jams is to stir with a clean wooden spoon then lift it above the pan. When the last drips fall slowly from the spoon and the very last one sort of dangles from it, then it is ready to pot up.