Friday, December 12, 2014

When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Curd (and More)

Editor Carleen Madigan demonstrates the art of making the most of what you’ve got.

Candied lemon peel and lemon curd make great holiday gifts or ingredients for winter treats.
While we’re on the subject of citrus, let it be said that birthday parties at Storey are pretty great. It’s not unusual for food and drink offerings to include at least one homemade item from the bevy of talented cooks, bakers, and beverage-makers that work here.

Last week, for example, a few of us gathered on a dreary, wintery day around a Weck jar filled with sunny lemon curd, straight from the home kitchen of editor Carleen Madigan. As we peppered her with questions about her process, she revealed that she’d put every part of her lemons to use as she made her curd — candying the peel, which she plans to use in her holiday panettone (more on that later), and saving the lemony simple syrup from the candying process. Of course, to my mind, it all seemed like the perfect winter blog post: how to make the most of a bag of lemons.

Carleen’s sunny lemon curd
Carleen used this recipe for lemon curd and notes that, despite the recipe’s promise of “fool-proof,” her curd still curdled a bit. (We certainly couldn’t tell, in tasting it.) If it happens to you, never fear! You can strain out any lumps.
This candied lemon peel is panettone-bound.
She used this recipe for her candied lemon peel, and suggests you can avoid a bitter outcome by removing as much pith as possible without letting the peel lose its structure. 

And if you’re holding onto that simple syrup, here’s one final recipe adjustment: Carleen bumped up the recipe’s recommended amount of fruit, adding an extra lemon and its extra juice to the simple syrup to cut down on sweetness. Save that simple syrup for flavoring seltzer or favorite winter cocktails that could use a hint of citrus. 

A jar of homemade lemon curd or treats punctuated with candied peel you made yourself also make lovely gift ideas. Happy making!—Emily Spiegelman, Digital Features Editor

Prefer your candied peel dipped in chocolate? Check out How to Make Chocolate Candies, one of the twelve Storey BASICS® in our December newsletter giveaway! Entries accepted through December 31.
Start the new year with twelve Storey BASICS® books!



Karen Springs said...

I love lemon curd and am thrilled with the idea of using everything from the lemons. But I think I will add ginger to mine and see how it turns out. And the idea of adding ginger to the candied lemon zest! Yummy!

Emily Spiegelman said...

Sounds delicious, Karen! Can't go wrong with the lemon/ginger combination.