What do you like to eat with scones? How about Lemon Curd?
But before I begin, you might be wondering about the title of this post. Let me explain…I love series, especially books. I love knowing that something is coming next, that I’ll be finding out what happens to these characters. Part of my current obsession with Outlander is knowing that the books (and TV show) are part of a larger series that will continue to tell the story for quite a while yet, so I can stay immersed in that world longer. That is a good thing, in my book (Oh…bad pun).
Since it was Outlander that started me on this blogging journey (see Why Do This?), it is only fitting that I start a series of my own. Tea Time and Finger Food will be an occasional series about the foods served at High Tea. But wait, I hear you say, why are you starting the series at Part 2? What happened to Part 1? Did I miss it? No, dear reader, you did not. The reason I’m starting with Part 2 is that I had a roommate in college who made the excellent point that you can’t really start a series with Part 1 if, at the time, the next in the series hasn’t occurred yet. In other words, saying something is “the first annual (fill in the blank)” is redundant because whatever it is hasn’t been annual yet. Even in movies, they don’t say “(Title of Movie), Part 1” if they don’t know that they are going to produce a sequel. It’s only after the sequel is made that the first movie might be renamed (which causes the publicity department ulcers, I’m sure). I have decreed that Part 1 of this series was my Time for Tea post from a few weeks back, but I’m not going to go back and change the title because that would mess up anything linking to it, and I’m too lazy to find all those links. Therefore, this post is Tea Time and Finger Food, Part 2. Anyway, my blog, my rules.
(Ok, ok, quit beating us over the head with this series nonsense…get on with it!)
Ahem…so back to my main topic (it’s about time!)…It’s actually ironic that I’m starting my new Tea Time and Finger Food series with foods served on the side because, well, this will be a series within the series (Oy vey!!). For this mini-series we’ll be talking about the condiments served with scones (you know, on the side…get it?). Since I know I’ll be writing other posts about scone condiments, this post will henceforth be known as I’ll Have That On The Side… (Part I) (cue the trumpets, please). So here goes…
Lemon curd is silky smooth, tart and sweet at the same time, and goes so well with scones. It can be fairly pricey in the market, especially if it’s made with real, wholesome ingredients. Luckily, it is also incredibly easy to make at home, using just 4 ingredients: egg yolks, sugar, butter, and lemons. Some recipes call for using whole eggs, but I recently found a recipe that just uses the yolks and it turned out the beautifully lemon yellow color found in commercially produced curd. I also happened to have egg yolks leftover from a chocolate satin mousse I had made for Passover (that’s a story for another time), so that’s the method I chose.
The Best Lemon Curd from Lorraine Elliott’s Not Quite Nigella blog
An Original Recipe by Not Quite Nigella
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Makes about 350mls/12.36 fl ozs.
- 5 egg yolks (try and remove as much of the white as possible, if you have some egg white attached, strain the yolks through a fine sieve to get rid of the white)
- 3/4 cup sugar plus extra to taste if needed
- 125g/4 ozs butter, cut into cubes
- 3 lemons
Step 1 – Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Set on low to medium heat (I set it on 4 out of 10 where 10 is the hottest temperature). Add the butter and heat slowly until the butter melts.
Step 2 – Zest two of the lemons and add the zest to the egg yolk mixture. Juice the lemons to make 1 cup of lemon juice. Wait until the butter has melted to add the lemon juice. Stir using the whisk or a spoon – the egg yolks are more forgiving than if you use whole eggs. It takes about 15 minutes for it to thicken up and stirring every so often is good. It thickens on cooling and I remove it from the heat, put the lid on it and let it thicken from there. When cool, placed in sterilised jars.
After it’s been cooled, lemon curd is quite adaptable. Served next to scones or toast, it’s a wonderful spread on its own. But you can use it to fill tart shells or mix it with unsweetened whipped cream for a quick lemon mousse. Use it in trifle or parfaits (see It’s but a Trifle). Fingerpaint with the kids…have fun with it!
You can use this same curd method using different citrus…limes (regular or key lime), Meyer lemons, oranges, grapefruits, etc. Each will give you another flavor to play with. I gave you the recipe for making scones in Time for Tea (aka Tea Time and Finger Food, Part 1) (goodness, this again?), so now you have the knowledge you need to go forth and have something to serve with tea. Go forth, I tell you! Huzzah! (uhmmmm…ok)
Remember, if life gives you lemons…make Lemon Curd! Please leave me your comments, questions, adventures, and experiences with making Lemon Curd (or interacting with a series)…I’d love to hear from you!
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!