Saturday, February 2, 2008

My Lemon Jones

There I was, minding my own business, reading a book and contentedly digesting the meal I'd enjoyed from the Beer Butt chicken roasted earlier in the day. Then, without warning, a most formidable jones assaulted me. I wanted something lemon and I wanted it RIGHT NOW!

I put down the book and thought it over. Lemon pie, lemon cake, lemon bars ... all those things were out. Too much mussin' and fussin' for the occasion. I wanted something simple and fast. F.E.D., in other words. (Fast Easy Delicious) I recalled enjoying a dessert called Lemon Lush somewhere back in my checkered past but couldn't remember how it was made.

No problem. Google took me right to approximately seven-kajillion Lemon Lush recipes. Problem. They all required cream cheese, which I didn't happen to have on hand. I did find a Lemon Lush pie recipe that called for sour cream (which I DO have) instead of cream cheese but it was a pie. I wasn't about to embark on a pie, thank you very much.

Then I thought about lemon curd. I've never had it. When spotting it at assorted super markets, I always looked at the price and said, "Nah. Surely it can't be that hard to make from scratch." And then, of course, I'd forget about it and never make the attempt. But maybe Google could scare me up a lemon curd recipe. Maybe there was even such a thing as a microwave lemon curd recipe -- because, by now, my lemon jones was getting urgent.

Well, bless my soul. There are four-kajillion microwave lemon curd recipes. How could I have doubted it for a single moment? The one that called out to me the loudest was found at an appealing blog with a long-but-delightful name: Morning Coffee & Afternoon Tea and chocolate in between. I'll let you go there for the details but, quickly (and it IS quick), the recipe goes like this:

Melt 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup) in the microwave. (I did 2 minutes at 40% power.) While that's happening, grate the zest from your lemons. I only had one lemon but got a heaping teaspoon of zest out of it. Then I squeezed the lemon and topped that juice off with some from a bottle of RealLemon that I had in the fridge, making the required 1/2 cup. To that, I added the zest, 1 cup of sugar and 3 eggs and whisked them all up good. Then I slowly poured in the melted butter, whisking all the while. The lemon mixture was then popped into the microwave to nuke for 4 minutes, taking it out and giving it a good whisk at the end of each minute.

Just to be sure, I actually nuked it 6 minutes. Different microwaves have different power levels and I have no idea how mine compared with hers. Anyway, the curd was slightly thickened, which is apparently proper. I understand it get thicker as it chills. One site mentioned it was supposed to end up the consistency of mayonnaise.

Unable to make myself wait until it chilled in the refrigerator, I spooned some of it in a small bowl and tucked that in the freezer. After about 20 minutes, it had indeed thickened up a bit. Almost immediately after the above picture was taken, I was sitting at the table, slurping up lemon curd like it was going out of style.

Was it good? Oh. My. God. Although the various sites mentioning this delightful treat all assured me lemon curd can be put on anything, they also promised it was good all by itself. And it is. Oh yes indeedy. Although I think next time I make it, I'll try 3/4 cup of sugar instead of the full cup. This batch isn't really too sweet but it's teetering right on the edge.

You might note, at the Coffee/Tea site, she has provided a link to the page where she gives us a recipe for Lemon Scones. That's more than I'm willing to tackle tonight, especially since my lemon jones has been appropriately mollified for the nonce. (I love saying "nonce.") But I do believe I'll check it out later. In the meantime, I understand lemon curd goes well on toast.

You Coffee Mates across the Big Pond are the experts on lemon curd. If you have any particular suggestions for its use, I'd welcome the input. And just how thick IS it supposed to be, anyway?


Anonymous said...

Thick enough to stick on the spoon, Dee. We have it spread on bread for tea time, and Graham and I are passionately fond of lemon curd tarts -- little individual topless shortcrust pastry shells backed with a teaspoon of lemon curd in the bottom. Yummity!

John B.

Jo said...

Ohmigawsh, Dee, you got me stuck on that website where you got the lemon curd recipe. You need to check out her chocolate page, if you haven't done so!

Aside from that, I've been wanting to make a good lemon curd for years but hadn't ventured into it yet but with this recipe I will. Thanks.

Dee said...

Ah! Thank you, John. With that, I do believe I'm having lemon curd on toast for breakfast.

Jo, I haven't explored that web site yet but now you've tantalized me. And, yes, the microwave version does allow one to avoid standing at the stove stirring, stirring, stirring for however long it takes. (smile) One day, when I'm feeling very patient, I might do it that way. In the meantime, F.E.D.!

Bonnie said...

I've always heard and used the term "live and learn" and that sure does happen here! Wonder if this can be done with Splenda?

Wendy said...

Bonnie, I'm thinking that this is the type of the thing for which Splenda is ideal. I'm glad you mentioned Splenda because I think it often solves that almost-too-sweet problem.

Dee said...

Bonnie and Wendy, you got me to wondering so I Googled "lemon curd Splenda" and found some interesting info. As near as I can tell, yes, Splenda is certainly an option. I gather the flavor is best if you use half sugar and half Splenda but that's really such a subjective thing. Here's another microwave recipe (yipe! she uses a full cup of lemon juice!) and if you scroll through the comments, you'll find specific info from readers who used Splenda. Hope it helps!

Anonymous said...

The fact that you love lemons, makes us soul mates. I love lemons too. Although I've never made lemon curd, my favorite fruit drink is one apple, one orange and one lemon. What heaven. That said, you have given me a new idea.

mz. em

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