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Posts tagged ‘lemon honey’

Microwave Lemon Curd, Lemon Victoria Sandwich Cake, Lemon Shortbread Biscuits

My friend and neighbour asked her children to pop down into the garden to pick some lemons off their tree, keep them entertained while dinner was being prepared. I suppose the trick with young children is you need to be specify exactly how many lemons you want them to pick otherwise it turns into a game and they merrily pick away all the lemons within reach which is what happened and why I was the receiver of an armful of beautiful, thick skinned, very large juicy lemons. We use a lot of lemons and limes in a week but this was even a little too many for us in our every day cuisine so I decided to make lemon curd. When you lead a busy life and are permanently rushed for time, standing over a pot stirring and waiting for curd it to thicken could be hit and miss, if like me you are attempting to multitask at the same time.  I decided to give the microwave method a go and hoped I wouldn’t end up with lemony eggs as I wasn’t sold on the idea apart from the time factor. I was amazed how easy it was, with no scrambled egg in sight, as a result I will never toil over a stove again to make curd. The key is to cook the mixture in short bursts in the microwave and whisk in between every burst of cooking time. I normally treat my curd like gold and if you get a jar you are honored indeed when it takes so long to make I tend to hide it at the back of my cupboard but this method was so quick I gave all the jars of curd away with the same speed it was made, knowing I can whip up a batch any time.

Once you have a batch of lemon curd, the dessert table beckons you to bake, easy shortbread turns into delightfully special treats and the traditional Victoria Sandwich Cake becomes a little more royal.

This is also my submission for our monthly blogging event Sweet New Zealand which is being hosted by Sue over at Couscous and Consciousness

Microwave Lemon Curd

Ingredients -4 x 200ml jars

4 lemons, juice & zest

4 eggs

100g sugar

100g butter

Method

Sterilise your jars & lids by boiling in water for 10 minutes.

Whisk together the lemon juice, zest, sugar and eggs in a plastic bowl, I use plastic because it doesn’t heat as much as glass or ceramic (less likely to get scrambled egg).

Add the butter to the bowl.

Place bowl in microwave on high for 1 minute , remove and whisk. The butter will only be partially melted.

Heat again for 1 minute in microwave, remove and whisk. If the butter has already melted and the liquid is getting warm start heating for 30 seconds bursts only and remove from microwave in between each 30 seocnds and whisk before heating again.

Once the lemon curd has thickened it is done. Pour into sterilized jars and seal with lid.

Lemon Curd Shortbread Biscuits – makes 12 minis

Ingredients
50g sugar

100g butter

150g plain flour

1/4 tsp vanilla paste or seeds of 1/2 bean

Method
Pre-heat oven to 200C

Place sugar, flour, butter into a food processor and whiz them until they resemble breadcrumbs.

Then pulse slowly until the mixture comes to a dough, do not over mix at this stage.

Remove biscuit dough from the food processor and place between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper.

Roll the shortbread out to 1/2 inch thick and use a biscuit cutter to cut out circles. With half of the biscuits cut out a smaller whole in the centre, I used a large piping nozzle. Re-roll the scraps of dough and cut out further biscuits until all the dough is used.

Place on a non stick baking tray with a little space between biscuits and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

To serve, add a dollop of lemon curd to the base biscuit and top with a ‘wholy’ biscuit. Biscuits can be stored in an airtight container for a week without their curd filling. I recommend adding the curd before you serve them.

Lemon Victoria Sandwich Cake

Ingredients
250g SR Flour

250g butter

200g sugar

4 free range eggs

1/4 tsp vanilla paste or seeds of 1/2 bean

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C

Butter and line with greaseproof paper the base and sides of 2 x 20cm cake tins

Place the butter, vanilla bean seeds or paste and sugar in a large bowl and beat or whisk together until pale and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time  beating well between each addition.

Fold in the flour with a large metal spoon, taking care not to knock out too much air.

Spoon the mixture into the tins and smooth the top.

Bake cakes in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes, do NOT be tempted to open the oven before this time is up as this sponge cake is sensitive and likely to sink if not fully cooked. Cake will be golden brown when cooked and spring back when touched.

Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin and transferring to a cooling rack.
Allow to cool completely before filling with lemon curd and whipped cream.

Filling & Assembly
Whip 300ml of whipping cream to soft peak

Spread 200ml of lemon curd over the base sponge and top with whipped cream

Place second sponge on top of cream and dust top with icing sugar

Lemon Tarts

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When preserving my lemons last weekend this lemon curd tart was always in the forefront of my mind, I adore lemon tart, it doesn’t matter whether it is baked or made from a curd. The good thing about the curd tart is that you can have your curd made well in advance, several weeks if you can manage to keep it that long stored in the jars. If you suddenly find you need to make a dessert for visitors or if you want to take a dessert to a dinner party, all you need to do is bake a pastry case and then add your prepared curd. Easy! I find it quite difficult to keep the curd very long  in jars as I have a weakness for it slavered on hot buttered toast. The tart can be decorated with the confit lemons of you could add some berries instead.

Ingredients – 6 small tarts or one 10 inch tart

Ingredients – Pastry

  • 110g butter
  • 200g flour
  • 60g icing sugar
  • 1 egg

Ingredients – lemon curd

  • 4 lemons, zest & juice
  • 200g castor sugar
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 4 eggs

Method – pastry

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
  2. Grease and flour a loose bottom tart tin.
  3. Place the flour, butter & sugar in a bowl.
  4. Work the ingredients together until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
  5. Add the egg and bring dough together.
  6. Rest dough in fridge for 15 minutes before rolling out.
  7. Roll out pastry to fit bottom & sides of tin.
  8. You need to bake the pastry case ‘blind’ so line the pastry case with greaseproof paper, bottom and sides, and then pour dried beans onto the greaseproof. This will hold the pastry in place on the sides and also stop it from getting air bubbles in the base.
  9. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Allow to cool before filling with lemon curd.

Method – Lemon Curd

  1. Whisk together the lemon juice, zest, sugar, melted butter and eggs until they are completely combined.
  2. Pour the liquid into a heavy bottom pan which distributes heat well.
  3. Cook on a low heat and stir continuously while cooking. Do not boil the liquid otherwise you will end up with lemon scrambled eggs! Do not leave the liquid while cooking and always stir, preventing it from sticking to the base of the pan.
  4. Once cooked pour the curd into the cooled pastry case, any curd you have left over pour into sterilised jars which can be kept for a few weeks in the fidge.
  5. Decorate tart with confit lemons or berries.

Preserving Lemons

lemonsblog

The lemons are just starting to appear in the grocery stores in the Southern Hemisphere and the new season is offering beautiful perfect waxy bright yellow fruit. I can’t help buying them by the bagful, they seem to call out to me, they are like edible gold, I just want to take them home and bottle them all so I can enjoy them all year round. So that is what I did most of Saturday (in between surfing a few waves in a very cold sea out at Muriwai), I made jars of lemon curd, jars of lemons preserved in brine and confit lemons. As well as making some lemon coconut tarts for dinner which will follow on my next post.

For those of you who are also benefiting from the citrus season and would like also to preserve them I have set out recipes for all three below, all of which are very easy to make and such a treat once they are no longer in season and too expensive to be squeezing into a curd. Lemon curd is the English name for ‘lemon honey or lemon cheese’.

Lemon curd is the jar on the left, lemons in brine is the middle jar used for savoury Morocan dishes and the confit lemons is the jar on the right used for decorating cakes or tarts. 

Lemon Curd – Ingredients

  • 4 lemons, zest & juice
  • 200g castor sugar
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 4 eggs

Method

  1. Whisk together the lemon juice, zest, sugar, melted butter and eggs until they are completely combined.
  2. Pour the liquid into a heavy bottom pan which distributes heat well.
  3. Cook on a low heat and stir continuously while cooking. Do not boil the liquid otherwise you will end up with lemon scrambled eggs! Do not leave the liquid while cooking and always stir, preventing it from sticking to the base of the pan.
  4. Once the liquid thickens to the consistency of thick custard, pour into sterilised jars and secure with a lid.
  5. Use the curd for tarts, fillings or a spread.  

Lemons in Brine – Ingredients

  • 5  lemons
  • 145g sea salt
  • 300ml water
  • 200ml lemon juice

Method

  1. Wash, dry and sterilise jars, enough for 5 lemons.
  2. Wash and slice lemons into quarters. 
  3. Pack  the jars tightly with lemons and salt, alternating each each layer and making sure all the lemons are covered in salt.
  4. Sprinkle over any remaining salt.
  5. Combine the lemon juice and water and pour into jars ensuring that the lemons are covered completely.  
  6. Place in a cool place, away from direct sunlight, for at least 4 weeks. 
  7. Once lemons have settled in jar, you might need to add more lemon juice to ensure the lemons remain covered. 
  8. The lemons will start to soften and might start to float. As a result, they may not stay entirely covered with juice and may develop a harmless white mould. 
  1. To use, remove a lemon from brine and rinse under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towel. Use a sharp knife to cut flesh from rind. Discard flesh and pith and use the rind only. 

Confit Lemons – Ingredients

  • 6 lemons
  • 200ml water
  • 200g castor sugar
  • seeds from one vanilla bean 

Method

  1. Slice the lemons finely into rounds, discarding any seeds. 
  2. Put the sugar and water into a wide based pan on a low heat until sugar has dissolved.
  3. Add vanilla beans and lemon slices.
  4. Cook over a low heat for about 40 minutes until the lemons are  jelly like consistency. The liquid should simmer not boil.
  5. If the sugar syrup reduces too much top it up with water so that all the lemons are covered. Do not let the sugar syrup caramelise otherwise the lemons will go tough.
  6. Put the lemons and syrup into sterilised jar and and store in fridge until ready to use.  
  7. Makes about 3 small jars.
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