My baking mojo has come back after abandoning me for so long!
It all started with 24 lemon cupcakes at the weekend. Best Irish butter, organic, unwaxed lemons, free range eggs (let’s try for happy hens 🙂 ) … of course sugar and SR flour… little to commend them, I’m afraid but they do play nicely with the other ingredients.
Some go into the office with Mr Bee. There’s now a requirement for him to go in once a week after WFH during the Covid years. He takes 10 or so. Six go to my next-door-neighbour. She’s very popular, lots of friends and family visit so a few extra to share with her pals over a cup of coffee.
Mr Bee eats the rest over the week. Not me. Without being too sanctimonious, I rarely eat sugar or processed flour these days. I’ve lost 3 stones since last August by restricting refined carbs (not keto diet) making better, healthier food choices and intermittent fasting. After years of disordered eating, including anorexia and bulimia from my long-ago teens, I have peace. No starvation, craving or bingeing. I’ll shut up in case my halo slips and chokes me.
Lemon Curd. Simple, sweet and smooth as silk. Fresh, lemony loveliness! I savour the smell and the process even though I don’t indulge – with not a single pang of temptation! Here’s how to make it.
110g castor sugar
5 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 3 lemons
Place a bowl over a saucepan (or bain-marie if you actually have one) of simmering water on the hob. Ensure the base of the bowl is above the water and not immersed. You wouldn’t like your bottom sitting in broiling water, would you?
Dissolve the sugar and lemon juice then add the eggs and whisk and stir till perfectly blended then stir and whisk some more… on and off… but more on than off… for 15 minutes. The mixture will thicken up as the eggs cook and will produce the most glorious yellow sunshiny hue.
Take the bowl off the heat and stir in the butter till it’s blended and the mixture is silky smooth.
Pour the mixture through a sieve into a sterilised jar (to sterilise, wash the jar in hot soapy water, rinse and pop in oven at 160 for 15 mins).
I use a riddler to coax, push and pummel the lemon curd through the sieve. A riddler is a knobbly-ended implement that makes this little job … rewarding …. in some strange way. If you don’t have a riddler, a spoon will do the trick.
Finally, gaze at your jar of sunshine and just enjoy the moment.
Mr Bee will eat it with ice cream, on bread and, if there’s any left, I’ll be making another batch of lemon cupcakes and giving each one a squidge of lemon curd. Use an apple corer to bore out a well from the top of each cake; fill a piping bag with some curd, snip off a corner and pipe it into the cake well. Lemon cake wells…. ha ha.
Happy days to anyone who might be reading this and a warm Hello from me in (chilly today) Ireland.