Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lemon Curd and Buttermilk Biscuits

Every spring I get a craving for all things lemon. I have been wanting to try a lemon curd recipe for some time and this one is pretty easy and oh so yummy.

For the curd (don't you think that word sounds awful? It does not begin to express the delightfully light and creamy texture of this treat!) you will need:

3 eggs
1/3 cup lemon juice (2-3 lemons) To get the most out of your lemons juice them at room temp rather than right out of the fridge and roll them along the counter with the heel of your hand before juicing. Strain after juicing.
1 Tbs. lemon zest
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Place a stainless steel bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (I stacked two pots--one fit just inside the other without touching the bottom to the water).  Whisk together eggs, sugar and lemon juice and add to the pot/bowl.

Cook, stirring constantly to prevent curdling (ironically, since it IS called CURD!) until mixture becomes thick like hollandaise sauce. About ten minutes.

Remove from heat and pour through a fine strainer to remove lumps.

Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk until melted.

Add lemon zest and cool.  The curd will thicken as it cools.

Cover immediately to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate for up to a week.

OR. . .

barely wait for it to cool while whipping up some biscuits to lavish your fresh curd upon.

For the biscuits you will need:

2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
6 Tbs. unsalted cold butter
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 Degrees F.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl or food processor. Then cut the butter into chunks and cut into flour with pastry cutter or the food processor until you have a course meal. I used a pastry cutter because a food processor large enough to make biscuits or pie crust is still on my wish list.

Add buttermilk and mix only until just combined. (If it's too dry add a little more)

On a lightly floured surface pat the dough out until it is about 1/2" thick. The less you work the dough the better the biscuits will be.

I bought this set of round cutters in various sizes at Williams Sonoma that comes in handy for oh so many baking situations.  I love them.

Cut you dough into circles.

Place on cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden brown on top.

Then slather with lemon curd and take a bite of bliss.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Clam Chowder

It has been kind of rainy lately and cold grey weather always makes me crave soup.  Hannah agrees with me.  The other night we let her decide what we would make for dinner--sort of a consolation for not going out to eat, which is what both girls wanted to do.  She chose one of her favorites: clam chowder in bread bowls.  This recipe is simple and basic, and my favorite chowder ever.

You will need:

2 cans of minced clams (6.5 ounces)
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely diced celery
2 cups finely diced potatoes
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
4 cups half and half
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Place onion, celery and potatoes in large saucepan

Open clams and drain juice into pot-- reserve clams.  Add enough water to barely cover and simmer (covered) over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Melt butter in a sauce pan and stir in flour. Whisk until blended and golden.

Add half and half, whisking until smooth and thickened. (It may seem lumpy at first but keep whisking!)

Pour half and half mixture into pot with veggies.  Add salt and pepper.

Add clams.

Stir well.

We like to eat ours out of sourdough bread bowls.  I have yet to make my own, but can't complain about these yummy bowls.

Prepare the bread bowls by cutting open the top and hollowing out the middles.


Of course, it's still nearly as good sans the bread bowl.