I have a newfound appreciation for the old adage on lemons. With the less-than-desirable circumstances I found myself in over the weekend, in my case a defunct oven and a Saturday full of rain and gloom, it seemed decidedly defeatist to take it lying down (albeit on the couch cradling a mug of tea and the delightful French Women Don’t Get Fat), so I made my own sunshine in the kitchen: tangy and sweet lemon curd! And not just the usual citrus affair, but three exceedingly delicious versions, all with a simple last-minute addition. Very much taken by Clotilde’s lemon and almond curd, from the lovely Chocolate & Zucchini, in similar form I added ground almonds to the finished curd for an even creamier spread, and also tried stirring in a handful of unsweetened coconut flakes for another variation. Obligated to taste-test the results, like any good chef, the pale yellow lemon-almond curd was by far my standout favorite among the three, truly a match made in lemon curd heaven.
With a preliminary taste of the creamy spread on an english muffin half, I was so arrested by the tang and zest alighting on my tongue that I wondered if perhaps I’ve let winter linger a little too long in my kitchen. It was a good thing the lemons came three-to-a-bag, because now I can’t resist dashing off a fresh squeeze on everything–fried eggs, sauteed spinach, lentils, a bowl of blueberries and yogurt. In fact, my readiness to apply lemon without reserve to any and all things inspired a lighter take on eggs benedict for an easy weekend or weekday breakfast:
For a single serving, I first toasted an english muffin, then sauteed half a cup of fresh spinach leaves in a few drops of olive oil until wilted and gave it a good twist of half a lemon. I placed a poached egg atop the greens and finished with a drizzle of a simple yogurt sauce thinned with lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Alternatively, in place of the yogurt sauce you could lay a few thin slices of gouda cheese over the bed of greens.
Whatever your culinary pleasures may be, it goes without saying that in proverbial situations such as those of last weekend,
When life hands you lemons, make something delicious!
1 lemon (50 ml of juice and zest) (scant 1/4 Cup juice)
60 grams sugar (5 Tbs)
50 grams butter (3 1/2 Tbs) cut into 4-5 cubes
optional: 40 grams ground almonds (1/3 Cup)
25 grams unsweetened coconut flakes (scant 1/4 Cup)
In a small saucepan, whisk together egg, lemon juice, and sugar. Over very low heat, while continuously stirring, gradually add in cubes of butter, stirring between each addition until butter melts. When all the butter has been added, turn off the heat, and stir in lemon zest. Pour into pre-washed and cleaned jars, seal, and refrigerate.
for lemon-almond and coconut variations: Reserve 2/3 of cooked lemon curd, and in two separate bowls, mix in almond meal and coconut flakes respectively. Pour into separate jars, seal, and refrigerate.