Monday, December 10, 2012

The Attack of the Lemon Curd!

Walking out into the back yard, I noticed that one of the lemons had fallen off of my tree.  I was actually walking to the shed to get the weedeater to do some needed yard work but this set things in motion.

Since I had a Meyer Lemon in the refrigerator from last week, this one gave me enough to make lemon curd.  Instead, I got the bright idea, lets super size the recipe!

The recipe is bulletproof.  The trick with it is to make sure you don't overcook the stuff.  The result is basically "Pie Filling" but it's beyond excellent with cream cheese on a bagel, like you can see on my original posting with the recipe.

Things went well, to start.  I have a two quart non stick sauce pan that is perfect for the job.  When the curd is done, the mix starts to thicken and stirring it with a small spatula will have it actually "split" away from the pan in a wake.  If you go longer you end up with a caramel and eventually a candy.  Candy is dandy but it's thicker than you need.

When you make a recipe with sugar, you're depending on a chemical reaction between the sugar, the heat, and the fat in the mix.  In this case the recipe decided to do something weird.  It got big, fast.  There was some gas that was created which expanded the mix in the pan so I panicked.  Grabbing the 1 cup measure, I dipped it into the pan and dumped some off into the skillet, spilling it all over the top of the stove.  My I Love Lucy moment continued with having to do it another four times. 

Setting the stage for a messy kitchen with jelly all over the place, I managed to finish off the remaining mix in the sauce pan while keeping the skillet warm but not as warm as the sauce pan.  That let me come back after pouring the sauce pan into jars for storage.

There was a beautiful lemon yellow curd inside the pan, and also outside the pan as I lifted it off the burner and walked across the room.  Amazing how easily 170 degree lemon curd can flow because now I had a yellow slick of goo gluing my right foot to the floor as well as my right pant leg, the splash on the sink and the counters.  Shaking off the pain for my art, I did manage to pour about three quarters of the sweet lemony goodness into the jars while fretting about the other four cups of goo on the burner in the skillet.

Having poured the remainder into four jars, I made it back to the skillet just in time for the recipe to thicken enough to find its way into the fifth jar without a drop spilled.

So if you want to try something, learn from my mistake.  If you're going to double the recipe, make sure your sauce pan fits your needs.   Sometimes your food expands with heat and sometimes it just makes gas.

At least I won't have to go back to commercial jelly for a while for my breakfast.  The recipe is a wonderful treat, if you have about 45 minutes to make it.  The trick is to use the right sauce pan. Simply mix all the dry ingredients in the pan, scramble the eggs and add them and the wet ingredients to the pan, then cook over medium low stirring constantly until it begins to thicken.

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