Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sunshine and Lemon Deliciousness

 Doesn't this Lemon cordial look like summer in a bottle? Today is the most glorious, sunny and hot day. As I worked all weekend including Friday on long days (that is 8.30am to 9.30pm), I missed the beautiful weekend we had here in Auckland. Luckily for me this week has also been lovely so I haven't missed out too much. It can be so hard looking out the windows of the hospital and just wanting to get out there yourself and join in the weekend fun. However today I took the opportunity to relax by using up some lemons our lovely neighbour gave me. I have figured out that I am an 'active relaxer' in that I have to be doing something that I enjoy to get the same benefit as someone else might get from lying around with a good book. Therefore for my 'relaxing' day off I have pretty much been in the kitchen all morning.

First up was this cordial. It is so easy to make and tastes so good. It's particularly good topped with some soda water and as we have a soda stream we have a ready supply of fizzy, filtered water. I also thought it would be lovely with some fresh mint, lots of ice and some vodka (for an adult treat). I think I'm going to try that tonight... I also thought it would make lovely Christmas gifts so this is what I will do this year. It can be quite stressful making homemade Christmas gifts and it can end up costing a small fortune especially as I am so particular. But this year I think I will make this, some lemon curd, maybe some homemade granola, and finally some truffles.

 Here is the lovely lemon curd I made from Jo Seagar's new cookbook. It was very, very easy requiring only a pot and a bowl. What I loved about it, other than its lemony deliciousness, is that there in no faffing about with a double boiler. It's all made in a pot and then I strained it before putting it into the jars to get out any bits of cooked egg white. This is lovely in little tarts, with ice cream, on bagels or with a number of other things. I'll be surprised if it lasts a week in this house as it's all too easy to just-have-another-spoonful-of.  

Don't they look summery...
Lemon Cordial

4 c sugar
4 lemons- juice and rind
4 c boiling water
1 1/2 Tbsp citric and tartaric acid

Dissolve the sugar in the water. Bring to the boil, add the acids, juice and rind and leave to cool. Bottle.

Thick Lemon Curd (Jo Seagar- 'It's Easier Than You Think')

200 gm butter
1 c caster sugar
grated rind and juice of 3 lemons
4 eggs

Melt the butter in a pot. Whisk the eggs, juice, rind and sugar together and then into the butter until well combined. Whisk continuously while the curd thickened and just comes to the boil. Remove from the heat, sieve through a strainer and cool in the jars. Store in the fridge and try not to eat it all yourself before you find something to do with it.

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