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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Perfect Breakfast: Lemon Curd & Some Beautiful Snapshots of Sunny Ireland

I discovered lemon curd last spring in Ireland. It was almost like a revelation. How could I have lived so far without spreading the velvety tangy cream on brown bread early each morning?  Lemon curd makes life more beautiful, early mornings shine and keeps a big smile on your face. Food wise, there are many things last year's trip opened my eyes to:

* Irish beef - the most tender in the world

* Irish Guinness Stew

* Irish dairy in general: the real taste of Irish butter

* (probably) the greatest potato mash in the world :)

* rhubarb jam/pies/salad/sauce etc - such a rare ingredient in Romania, where organic rhubarb is plentiful in areas like Transylvania, but it's only a staple in pigs' diet (!). I know, it's sad they aren't aware of it.

* lemon curd: so delicately sweet and citrusy, it becomes an addiction. No matter how much I may have, I feel like I need some more. 

I loved it so much that I stacked up on it, bought some extra jars for family, friends and myself & Mike. No worries, we drove from Romania to Ireland, hence we left with a boot-ful of Romanian wine and came back with lemon curd,  rhubarb jam, Irish cured beef, HP sauce (can't find it in Romanian supermarkets anymore), organic Miso paste, soba noodles, teas, organic coffee, and and the list can go on. (I love shopping in Ireland) because the focus falls on quality rather than on quantity.


My first Lemon Curd

As I was kinda nervous, I used half of all the listed ingredients from the BBC recipe. Next time I will experiment with pomegranate and/or with a bunch of oranges and will definitely start making curd for family and friends.

2 and a half lemons, zest, and juice

100 gr of caster sugar

50 gr of butter (a thick slice of Danish butter) - can't find Irish butter in Romania 

2 free-range eggs

1 free-range egg yolk


Follow faithfully the instructions given below, it works and it does make a mind-blowing, creamy lemon curd.

Preparation method

  1. Put the lemon zest and juice, the sugar and the butter into a heatproof bowl. Sit the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl. Stir the mixture every now and again until all of the butter has melted.
  2. Lightly whisk the eggs and egg yolk and stir them into the lemon mixture. Whisk until all of the ingredients are well combined, then leave to cook for 10-13 minutes, stirring every now and again, until the mixture is creamy and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  3. Remove the lemon curd from the heat and set aside to cool, stirring occasionally as it cools. Once cooled, spoon the lemon curd into sterilised jars and seal. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.

    It will give 2 small Ikea spice jars of smooth lemon curd that will complement your scones, rice pudding or tart. 

    A couple of days ago, tasting this creamy delight reminded me of the beautiful (working) holiday we had in Ireland, where the weather was amazing and strangely enough, sunny and warm. Not a cloud in sight (that day, I should add)! :) I love you, baby. 

Co. Mayo, near Delphi

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