“FOR LAST YEAR’S WORDS BELONG TO LAST YEAR’S LANGUAGE AND NEXT YEAR’S AWAIT ANOTHER VOICE. AND TO MAKE AN END IS TO MAKE A BEGINNING.” T.S. Eliot
Happy New Year! I hope this is a great year for everyone! In the past, I have made and tried to stick to resolutions which included exercising more and swearing less, raising my expectations and lowering my expectations, losing weight and finding joy, living with grace vs. putting myself first more often! Oh yes….and take my vitamins! But what worked for me last year and what I look forward to again this year…is to live simply.
This year, I’ll start by getting back to basics again. I love those very simple recipes that lend themselves to versatility. Like lemon curd. It’s been on my mind again lately since watching a cooking show where lemon curd was made for the whole purpose of dipping biscotti. Who knew? I’ve only dipped my biscotti in coffee or tea! I’ve made Martha Stewart’s lemon curd recipe before and it is really good! But Alex Guarnaschelli adds orange juice to her lemon curd. And so I thought….why not go for the trifecta! A combo of both recipes with the addition of lime! And thus….citrus curd was born. So go ahead and dip away or read on for more scrumptious recipes……
…..The thing I LOVE about all of these recipes is that they come together quickly. Whether you make it yourself or you have a jar of your favorite curd in the fridge, with a few other ingredients you can throw together a dessert which looks elegant and special. So let’s start with the curd……
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 lemons, juice and zest
- 1 orange, juice and zest
- 1 lime, juice and zest
- 6 Tablespoons of butter
(You may choose to use all of one fruit or mix and match…like lemon lime!)
In a large stainless steel pot, whisk together the sugar, yolks and zests for about 3-4 minutes until the mix is light in color. Whisk in the juices. Put the pot over low heat and continue to whisk until the mix starts to thicken, about 8-10 minutes. Start adding the butter 1 Tablespoon at a time. When all the butter is incorporated, strain through a mesh sieve to another container to cool. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap down on the top of the curd to prevent a skin from forming as it cools.
Yields: 1 1/2 cups
These ladyfinger sandwiches are my favorite! Sweet and soft and tangy!
LADYFINGER CITRUS SANDWICHES:
- 1 package (24) ladyfingers
- 8 ounces of mascarpone cheese
- 8 ounces citrus curd
- 3 Tablespoons of butter, softened
- 12 strawberries
Mix the mascarpone, butter and citrus curd in a bowl. Spread on both sides of a ladyfinger. Layer with sliced strawberries. And put the ladyfingers together to form a sandwich. Garnish with powdered sugar.
Yields: a dozen sandwiches with some leftover cheese mix.
I always have whipping cream on hand. And this next recipe is good for most any fruit. If you don’t have curd, you can even puree some berries and fold those into the whipped cream as well.
CITRUS CREAM MARTINIS:
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1 cup of citrus curd
- 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
- fruit for garnishing (kiwi,orange slices, blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries work well!)
Whip the cream and vanilla extract till soft peaks form. Fold the citrus curd in, one half a cup at a time. Pipe into martini glasses or dessert glasses and top with fruit and bits of zest.
Yields: 6 mini martini glasses
I don’t think you can ever go wrong with puffed pastry. You can also used premade phyllo cups. You can layer this between sheets of already baked puffed pastry or you can use pie crust and make mini tart shells.
- 1 package of puffed pastry shells (usually 6 in a box)
- 1 1/2 cups of citrus cream cheese (from ladyfinger recipe above)
- 1/2 cup of citrus curd
- fruit for topping (kiwi, orange slices, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries work well)
Bake the puffed pastry according to directions on packaging (roughly 20 minutes). Let cool. Scoop out the circular top. Place 1/4 cup of cream cheese citrus mix on the bottom. Top with citrus curd and garnish with fruit.
Yields: 6 nests.
These are just a few examples of what you can do with citrus curd. It would also be lovely spread atop meringue on a pavlova, or sandwiched with jam between layers of pretty pieces of pound cake. But whether you choose to make a quick last minute dessert, or you just prefer to spread it on bread, toast or scones, I hope you will try making your own fruit curd this year.