No tea service is complete without the appropriate accoutrements. While homemade rose petal jelly proved inaccessible, the ingredients for lemon curd were easy enough to acquire. Nevertheless, the thought of making lemon curd was so terrifying that I didn’t start the process until well after midnight the evening before Maria’s party.
Turning acidic lemon rinds into deliciously saccharine curd seemed counterintuitive. I’ve also never actually tasted lemon curd myself, so I was worried that I wouldn’t know whether or not the final product was as heavenly as I hoped it would be.
All of my concerns washed away after about half-an-hour of minimal labor produced the most delectable, mouth-watering, perfectly tart spread for my drop biscuits. The zest and lemon juice created powerful flavor, while the sugar and butter provided a creamy sweet texture. You aren’t meant to devour lemon curd on its own, but a few heaping spoonfuls never hurt anyone.
Recipe – adapted from Barefoot Contessa
· 3 lemons
· 1.5 cups of sugar
· ¼ pound unsalted butter at room temperature
· 4 extra-large organic eggs
· ½ cup lemon juice (3-4 lemons depending on size)
· 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
· Remove the skin from three lemons using a peeler - try to only capture the yellow skin, as the white pith is bitter
· Put the lemon skin and sugar into a food processor (I use the classic cuisinart, but there are several inexpensive versions in smaller sizes and functions), and blend until the lemon peel is completely combined into the sugar
· Cut up the butter into small pieces, and mix into to the lemon-sugar
· Crack the eggs into a bowl – this prevents accidental eggshell from finding its way into the mixture
· Add the eggs one at a time to the lemon-butter-sugar until combined
· Juice the lemons (I am obsessed with this citrus-press from Williams-Sonoma)
· Toss in the lemon juice and salt, and mix once more
· Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about ten minutes)
· Stir constantly, so that the mixture doesn’t simmer
· Remove from the heat, pour into containers, and refrigerate!