Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Easy peasy lemon squeezey

It's very easy to squeeze lemons, but what to do with them afterwards....The warm weekend (20C on our balcony!) brought the promise of late summer evenings sitting outside, enjoying good food and company. One of the things I love drinking at these times is limonchello. I made some last year which was very successful so I decided to try again, this time using this recipe. Even making half the amount, I still ended up with 8 lemons so what to do with them? I went a bit mad and decided to try all the lemon recipes I've been wanting to try for a long time. First we made a lemon tart with meringue. As I was lazy I used puff pastry for the base which was fine, but I think it would have been much nicer with a proper crust. It was still very tasty though and a good oportunity to use Barry's new favourite toy - the blowtorch.

As I really liked the filling, I decided to make some lemon curd, which is similar and can be used as a filling for pastry cases. I adapted this recipe as I was intrigued by the use of almonds. However, I didnt have any zest left, and I wasnt about to use more lemons, I just increased the amount of juice. I also reduced the amount of sugar as I often find lemon curd too sweet. The curd was great, at first I wasn't so sure about the almond powder but as we had brunch on our balcony in the sunshine it really began to grow on me. It gives a little "je ne sais quoi" to the curd, somehow it becomes more velvety and soft.

As the ground almonds I had were fairly mixed, I had to sieve them to get the fine stuff for the curd, with the rest, I made another recipe from this site for lemon fleur de sel cookies (again without zest and with slightly more juice). I was keen to try some fleur de sel de guerande that barry's uncle and aunt had kindly given to me. Tasting the dough initially, I didn't really taste so much salt but once they were baked, you would run into little salty bits. These are really nice with a cup of tea and a good book, plus they look great in my new cookie tin. This was a present from a Dutch friend from a shop in Amsterdam and they are a modern take on Delft Blue. They're very pretty and if you want, you can get your products customized for you.

Finally with the last dregs of the juice I made some blood orange marmalade which looks beautiful. Unfortunatly, when I poured it into the jars, all the skinny bits floated to the top. It still tastes good but not quite as pretty. Does anyone have any ideas/tips about this??

So a busy weekend in the kitchen but it actually wasn't so bad. All the recipes are very easy and straightforward, they dont't take much time to make (fair enought the marmalade takes long but doesn't need much attention) are all very tasty.


Caroline said...

Do you have any advice about what to do with Lemon Curd? Someone gave me a jar and I am looking for ways to eat it!

Eva said...

We generally eat it on toased bread in stead of jam which is very nice. Althernatively, you can use it in a tart like they've done here http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/recipe_views/views/104908 and eat it like that or add fruits in with it. Blueberries, strawberries or Raspberries are very nice for this. This website has a lot a lot of recipes as well for using it. I've also fancied using it for icing cakes, perhaps by mixing in some cream cheese, but haven't tried this yet. Enjoy and let me know what you;ve used it for as I still have a few jars in the freezer :-)

Di said...

Lemon curd was my grandmother's favourite! Any time I saw it at a craft sale I would have to buy it for her...thank you for the happy memories!!

CanadianSwiss said...

I love lemony stuff. (I prefer tart or salty to extremely sweet)

All your recipes look great. I've never had lemon curd, but it sounds delicious. Does it need to be kept refrigerated also before it's opened? And the cookies with fleur de sel seem to be very interesting.

myriam said...

hi eva. oh - you got me screaming of joy! these cookie jars are made by my friends femque and janneke! ohmy, ohmy, i will have to tell them it made all the way from amsterdam to basel! do you know that manor sells their lovely stuff (not the delft collection, but the rest). lotsa love m