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Lemon Curd

What do you make when you have a glut of eggs, too much butter in your fridge and some lemons?

 

Lemon curd ingredients

Lemon curd of course.

First I consulted my bible on all things jam and preserve related Marguerite Pattern’s Basic Basics, Jams Preserves and Chutneys .  I use this as a guide any time I make any preserves, but I often change the recipe.  This time I didn’t agree with her way of getting the rind off the lemon (rubbing it with sugar) and felt the quantity of sugar was too high, so I cut it down by about 25%.  I also increased the number off eggs.  This wasn’t intentional, I have only just realised it on looking back at the book.

So for 3 eggs and 3 lemons I used 175g (6 oz) of sugar and 115g (4oz) of butter.

First take of the rind of the lemons – I used a lemon zester.  Put the zest into a bowl big enough to use as a bain marie.

Lemon zest for lemon curd

Then juice the lemons.  You don’t need all the juice, just 4 tablespoons, but I juiced it all anyway and put the spare in the fridge.  Once the lemons have been zested they don’t keep very well.

Add the juice to the peel then add the sugar and stir.  Put in your butter.

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I think next time I will try and soften (or even melt) the butter first as it took a while to melt these big bits.

Put the bowl onto a pan of boiling water and stir until all the butter has melted.

Break your eggs and whisk them, then add them to the hot mixture, still on the double boiler.

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Almost done.  now all you have to do is stir it until it sets.  You don’t want to over cook it as it will turn into scrambled eggs, and you don’t want to under cook it as it won’t spread properly.  Mine took about 15 mins.

Lemon curd

And here it is, a bowl of golden loveliness (yes it really is that colour – our hens free range).  It hasn’t suffered at all from the extra egg, and I think I could cut down the sugar even further.  I could eat it as it is with a spoon, but it is lovely spread onto jam, or biscuits, or scones, or put into a tart case to make a lemon tart.  If you put it in a jar it will keep in the fridge for a week or two. (makes about 1 jar).

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Banoffee Pie without condensed milk

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I like to make a pudding for Sunday dinner.  I don’t call it Sunday lunch because we never eat it at lunch time.  Sunday lunch takes up too much of the day.  We are always busy enjoying ourselves on Sundays (either that or we are slaving away in the garden).  Sunday lunch should be a leisurely affair taking several hours and followed by a decent siesta.  Which is great when you are on holiday or you have friends and family visiting, but with only seven days in the week I just can’t write off a day to such decadence.

Anyway back to Sunday dinner, and the pudding.  We tend to have pudding after most evening meals, but midweek it is usually a piece of fruit or a yoghurt or perhaps a square of chocolate.  Occasionally there will be cake or biscuits.  Sunday is different.  Sunday has to have a pudding.

The planned pudding for today was a rhubarb tart.  The rhubarb in the garden is looking lovely and the eldest 2 girls are away on exchange trips so there would be no “euh disgusting” remarks to contend with.  Plans were changed however when on eating a banana at lunchtime I realised just how many bananas there were in the fruit bowl (I had failed to appreciate what a difference the aforementioned elder 2 being away would make to the food stores).  I hate throwing food away.  I mean really hate it.  Especially if I have paid for it.  So the rhubarb would have to wait for another day, the bananas needed a home.

My first thought was banana bread.  But the trouble is I have never made a banana bread I really loved.  Don’t get me wrong I like banana bread.  If you gave me a slice to eat with my cup of tea on a Wednesday morning I would be a happy woman, but it isn’t Sunday pudding.  The obvious alternative was banoffee pie.  So I looked in the cupboard for the can of condensed milk that lives in there (often staying several years without being wanted), but alas no can was to be found.  What to do?  Thankfully the internet came to the rescue in the form of the wonderful Smitten Kitchen (don’t you just love her blog).  Who would have thought it possible, homemade Dulche de Leche with nothing more than milk, sugar and a bit of baking soda?  I’ll let Smitten explain how to make it, but suffice to say it is ridiculously easy.  It also has the added benefit of being able to reduce the sugar content (I normally find banoffee to be over sweet).

Once the Dulche de Leche was made it was a quick and simple task to put the pie together.

Blitz some Graham Crackers (I would normally use digestive biscuits but we had some graham crackers leftover from our recent California trip) – For 3 people I used 80g of crackers.  Mix with half quantity of butter (unsalted).

Biscuit crumb base

I was making 3 individual portions so used a ring on a plate to form the pie.  Smooth down the crumb.

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Then spoon on the Dulche de Leche.

Spoon on Dulche de Leche

Doesn’t that stuff look lovely?  I can’t wait to try it on a crepe, or maybe a waffle, or maybe just on a spoon.

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Add the banana slices. As it turned out my bananas weren’t as over-ripe as I thought.  Oh well.

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Spoon over some whipped cream – I resisted the temptation to add sugar to the cream.

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Then grate over some chocolate.  None of your rubbish – if you wouldn’t want to eat it as chocolate don’t grate it over your pudding – this is Lindt (which has the advantage of being great chocolate and being palm oil free).

Grate over chocolate

The leave in the fridge to set.  I am sure that experts will tell you to leave them at least 4 hours.  Mine got 30 minutes.

Individual Banoffee Pie

Youngest daughter has proclaimed it the best pudding ever – high praise indeed.