Posts Tagged ‘lemon’

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pucker up!

September 14, 2010

After my last post, several of you asked for the recipe for the lemon curd itself.  Since I live to please, I’ll share it with you today.

A few years ago loveymom and mrslovey teamed up and bought me two hobby classes at the local culinary school – yeast breads and tarts.  I had a total blast at both, learned a lot, and still count them as two of the best gifts I’ve ever received.  In the tart class we were taught a few standard crusts/doughs, some base fillings, and some seasonal toppings, along with hints about presentation and serving.  One of the fillings was lemon curd, and it was delicious!  Several of my classmates complained that it was too tart, but seriously, LEMONS.  Don’t hate them for doing what they do best!

Anyway, this curd is rather tart, but totally tasty.  You can always adjust the sugar or lemon juice to suit your own preferences.  Also, it makes a ton.  Well, not a ton – more like a quart.  For real.  One quart of awesome, coming right up!! Read the rest of this entry ?

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a dificult problem to have

September 6, 2010

Have you ever stopped, looked around the kitchen, and realized that you have way too much lemon curd?  No?  Just me?  Sigh.

I recently realized that I would need lemon curd for a recipe that I wanted to try.  Several years ago I took a hobby class at the local culinary school, and I remembered how easy it was to make curd.  I also knew how much tastier homemade is over store-bought.  Add these two pieces of info to how easily distracted I am, and it’s obvious that I was going to be making a big honking batch of lemon curd.  And then I’d have it!  To use in lots of things!  So I made my curd and let it cool.  While it was setting up, I re-read the original recipe that I had set out to make, and realized that it only required 1/4 cup.  I had just made over 4 cups.  If I had noticed this initially, I would have just sucked it up and used a jarred curd, you know?  So now I’m sitting there, wondering what to do with well over 3 cups of lemon curd.  Also, being amused by how ‘curd’ sounds when you’re using it over and over again.  Curd, curd, curd, curd.  Curd.  Sounds funny, and a little gross.  Curd.

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not nearly as hard as I make it seem

July 12, 2010

I got some reader-request baking done on Sunday, during a short break in the heat wave.  K had requested Martha Stewart’s Lemon-Thyme Wafers, so I found the recipe online and got to work.  People, let me tell you, it was like an episode of I Love Lucy or something.  Anything that I could have messed up, I did.  (And of course, it wasn’t helped by the fact that I was working on two things at once for part of the time).

The first step of the recipe is to warm up some cream and then add lemon zest and thyme springs, to let the flavors infuse the cream, ooh la la fancy fancy.  I did this no problem, let it sit for a while infusing, and then strained the now-flavorful cream into a glass coffee mug for later use.  Step into the other room for a few minutes while I wait for the oven to be free.  Come back into the kitchen to talk to mrslovey who is using the break to do some dishes*, and I see a soapy sponge – wiping out a glass coffee mug.  Seems I need to label things better.  Out comes more cream, more zest, and more thyme from the herb garden.  I strain it into a measuring cup and say very slowly and loudly, like I’m talking to a toddler, or a dinosaur, or something, “I’M PUTTING THIS OVER HERE, WITH THE INGREDIENTS,BECAUSE IT IS AN INGREDIENT.  WHICH I AM GOING TO USE.  WHEN I MAKE THESE COOKIES, WITH THESE OTHER INGREDIENTS. OVER HERE.”  I’m lucky she didn’t crack me in the head with a glass coffee mug.

Next step was mixing a bunch of stuff together to make the batter, no biggie.  But then, THEN, was the first circus act of the day.  Imagine, if you will, that you are holding in one hand a stainless steel mixer bowl, and are trying to pour and scrape the contents into the open end of a big zippy bag, that is perched in a(nother) glass mug, with a piping tip that is way too big for the thickness of the batter, so everything seems to be either flowing right out of the tip, or trying to pull the bag out of the mug and onto the counter.  Not saying that’s what happened, but just imagine the frustration if that were the case.  Then start piping your cookies out, and realize your piping skills still suck, so you’re dripping batter everywhere and this bag is too big and now the tip is coming out of the bag and batter is leaking out of THAT new hole and OMG is this really this hard????   Read the rest of this entry ?

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a tip of the hat

April 6, 2010

Several Christmases ago, mrslovey gave me Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book.  Her mom had the original 1963 edition, and they baked out of it frequently.  The book had been out of print for quite a while, but there was such a demand from people wanting the book of their childhood that in 2002 Betty Crocker decided to bring it back.  I must admit, I’ve been at bit intimidated by the new version.  The cover art, photos, and illustrations are all authentic to the original, which means some pretty retro-looking images (not always a positive thing).  How to know which recipes held their own over the last fifty-odd years, and which were just a flash in the pan?  When in doubt, just pick a page number and make whatever’s on that page!

One of the things that amuses me about this book is the little notes that precede each recipe.  I’m especially fond of the blurb from page 72, Lemon Crinkles – From Mrs. Alfred T. Neilsen of Council Bluffs, Iowa, who prefers simple and easy recipes that leave her time for her hobby of making hats. Seriously, how could you not want to make these cookies after reading that?!?  Lemon Crinkles it was.  I did make a couple of adjustments to the recipe, as I was missing ground ginger, and wanted to boost the lemon flavor.  These had a great chewy texture, packed a nice zing of lemon, and a little crunch from the sugar.  I want to give full credit to Mrs. Nielsen, so I’ll be giving you a twofer – her recipe, followed by my version.  Whichever one you make, I hope you enjoy.  And also that you’re then suddenly struck with the desire to craft a bonnet or two.    Read the rest of this entry ?

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Oh my stars, lemon bars!

February 17, 2010

The minute I mentioned that February would be all about brownies and bars, requests were coming out of the woodwork for lemon bars.  I must admit that up until now I’ve had maybe two in my life.  And maybe those weren’t the best in show, but I’ve just never been really impressed.  Not a major lemon bar groupie.

It seems that I’m unusual in that respect.  For most other people, at least within my peer group, lemon bars trigger shortness of breath,  accelerated heart rate, and a quantity of drool that would make Pavlov jealous.  So I figured what the heck, I’ll see what I can do.

As I frequently do, I found a recipe to use as a jumping off point, and then I tweaked the living bejeebus out of it.  For this particular treat, I completely discarded the suggested base layer, and replaced it with a variation on mrslovey’s favorite sugar cookie recipe.  Then I added some coconut for texture (which was surprisingly awesome), and nearly tripled the amount of lemon called for in the original.  How did they come out?  Pretty freaking delicious.  While I’ll probably try to up the lemon factor even more next time, for now these should keep the junkies at bay. Read the rest of this entry ?

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The lemony lemon thing, with all the lemons

January 10, 2010

As you may recall, last week I had a lot of reservations about my muffins, and needed some reassurance.  In addition to feedback from coworkers, I also sought out one of my baking mentors, K.  Even though she’s been trying to avoid sweets, she was willing to take one for the team so that I could get the opinion of someone whose oven I trust completely.  To thank her for this, I offered to let her pick my next recipe.  Almost instantly, the words ‘lemon poppy bread’ came tumbling out of her mouth.  Okay, works for me!

This recipe is very high on the lemon scale, without being totally over the top.  The texture is almost in the realm of pound cake.  And the glaze that you pour over the hot loaf when it comes out of the oven…nice.  It soaks in, adds more lemon flavor, and gives just a little crackle from the sugar.

So thanks, K, for your brave sacrifice for the greater good – this one’s for you!

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