Last week I shared a photo of a beautiful bowl of lemons and limes given to me by a friend whose trees are laden, so I thought it was time to share a couple of recipes I made with them.
Lemon curd has been eaten out of the jar with a spoon around here for the last week. We are almost through the third jar. Whoops.
Did you know lemon curd is actually an English recipe dating back to the 1800’s? They called it lemon cheese (which to me sounds far less appetising) but they still liked to slather it on scones and crumpets just as much as we do now.
I’m not sure if there is ever anything “new” in food. All recipes seem to be variations of something else made long ago, or some traditional recipe passed down through families for generations.
People make tweaks here and there, try to make them healthier or cater for food allergies but the base of what once was, essentially still is.
There are many different lemon curd recipes, some more finnicky than others. I love this one because you just put it all in one pot and stir over a low heat until it thickens. It has a real lemony zing.
I also found an old Dame Alison Holst recipe for lemon bars and thought to myself, there’s nothing more Kiwi than a Holst recipe so just don’t mess with it.
1 cup of sugar
50 grams of butter melted
1 cup of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of lemon zest
Place melted butter and sugar in a pot and beat well. Add all other ingredients and turn on to a medium heat. Keep whisking until the mixture thickens. It will thicken further on cooling. This makes about four small jars.
Lemon bars (Dame Alison Holst)
Base and topping
2 cups of standard flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 cup of sugar
100 grams of cold butter
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons of milk
100 grams of butter
2 lemons, grated rind and juiced
1 cup of sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Heat oven to 180C (or 170C fan-bake) with rack just below the middle. Line the base and sides of a 23cm-square loose-bottomed cake pan (or pan of similar size) with baking paper.
For base, mix the sifted flours and sugar in a bowl. Grate in the cold butter, then rub it in until it looks like instant oats (or chop it all in a food processor). Make a well in the centre and add the lightly beaten egg. Add just enough milk so that particles will stick together when pressed, making a dough. Press half this over bottom of pan, keeping the rest to crumble on top.
For filling, melt butter in a medium-sized pot or smallish non-stick pan. Take off heat and beat in the grated lemon rind and juice, sugar and eggs, then heat again, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens to a pouring custard. Take off heat as soon as bubbles form. Pour evenly over uncooked base and crumble remaining dough mixture on top.
Bake for 35-45 minutes, until golden brown, until the centre is almost as firm as the edges. Leave to cool in the pan and then slice.