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TIP OF THE DAY: Lemon Curd Recipe & History


[1] Serve croissants or any bread products with lemon curd—including a raisin bagel (all photos © Bonne Maman).


[2] A yogurt parfait with layers of lemon curd.


[3] Mini cheesecakes topped with lemon curd.


[4] Cake-in-a-jar: Layer strawberry preserves, cake, lemon curd, cake, and lemon curd.


[5] Lemon curd is a great cake filling.

[6] Lemon curd is an easy “fancy” dessert: Just buy mini tart shells and fill with curd.

 

This tip is about lemon curd, but you can make fruit curds from any fruit that can be juiced (berries*, lime, grapefruit, orange, passionfruit, pineapple, mango, etc.)

Lemon is the most common, but the others are just as delicious.

There are some good store-bought lemon curds, but they are nowhere as good as homemade. Commercial lemon curds may also include thickeners (such as cornstarch; these dilute the flavor and quality of lemon curd), preservatives, colors, and flavorings.

And it’s so easy to make: four basic kitchen ingredients and 10 minutes on the stove. (It’s five ingredients if you count lemon juice and zest separately.)

Lemon curd is one of those foods that are so seductive, you can eat them by the spoonful from the jar.

Curd is a bread spread and filling for baked goods, but it’s slightly different from jelly, jam and preserves.

  • Lemon curd is made from lemon juice, and other types of fruit curds can be made with citrus fruits like grapefruit, limes, oranges, or tangerines. The addition of an egg yolk turns it into a custard.
  • Curds also can be made with other fruits, such as berries, mango and passionfruit.
  • For food geeks: Technically, lemon curd is a custard. Custard is defined by any liquid (here, lemon juice) thickened by eggs. In most cases, the liquid is cream or milk.
  • Jelly also begins with fruit juice, but jells it with pectin.
  • Jam and preserves are made by cooking down chopped fruit or the whole fruit (e.g. berries).
  •  
    Here are the differences between jam, jelly, marmalade, preserves and all the different bread spreads.
     
     
    USES FOR LEMON CURD

    Lemon curd is a probably best known for serving with scones at afternoon tea. But that’s just one of the numerous ways to enjoy lemon curd.

  • Bread spread: croissants, muffins, scones, toast.
  • Cake: a dollop with angel cake, gingerbread, quick breads.
  • Cake filling: for for angel food cake, genoise/sponge cake, layer cake and pound cake.
  • Cookies: a spread sables and shortbread, a filling for thumbprints and sandwich cookies.
  • Cream puffs and eclairs.
  • Cupcake toppings and centers.
  • Crêpe filling.
  • Garnish for fruit salad.
  • Pancake and waffle topping.
  • Pies and pastry: napoleons, lemon meringue pie (but with lemon pie, the filling is a thickened with cornstarch).
  • Tart, tartlet or mini-tart filling.
  • Yogurt and cottage cheese topping or mix-in.
  •  
     
    RECIPE: LEMON CURD

    Some of the best lemon curds are made with the zest and sweeter juice of Meyer lemons. However, they are seasonal; November through May.

    Don’t let that stop you from making them from supermarket Eureka or Lisbon lemon varieties (the different types of lemons).

    This recipe is courtesy of Taste Of Home.

    Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons) or 3-5 Meyer lemons
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  •  
    Preparation

    1. WHISK together in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, the eggs, sugar and lemon juice. Stir until blended.

    2. ADD the butter and lemon zest. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thickened and coats the back of a metal spoon.

    3. TRANSFER to a bowl; or to store, place in a clean container with a lid. Cool for 10 minutes. Refrigerate, covered, until cold.
     

    THE HISTORY OF LEMON CURD

    The first written mention of lemon curd appears in England in 1844, in The Lady’s Own Cookery Book by Lady Charlotte Campbell Bury.

    This early recipe is different from today’s lemon curd. It is literally curds: lemon juice added to cream to form curds.

    The curds were then be separated from the whey through cheesecloth.

    Although still called curd, today’s recipe evolved to a velvety custard spread, made with by the combination of lemon, sugar, eggs and butter.

    If you read U.K. articles, you may come across mentions of lemon cheese instead of lemon curd.

    There is no technical or legal difference between the two. They contain the same ingredients and are cooked the same way.

  • Some people claim that lemon curd is a little runnier and more tart, while lemon cheese has a more buttery taste.
  • However, these may be due to slight differences in regional recipes. “Cheese,” like “curds,” is a throwback to the original recipe, the appearance of which was similar to cottage cheese.
  • Experts agree, though, that the difference is so subtle, very few people could distinguish between the two.
  • There is also a product called lemon honey: the same recipe with honey substituted for the sugar [source].
  •  

     
      

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    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Otamot Essential Sauce, A Better Tomato Sauce

    Otamot. Otamot. We said it several times before we realized that Otamot is tomato spelled backwards.

    Otamot was created by the parent of a picky eater, who set out to create a more nutritious tomato sauce, a food his daughter would eat.

    Starting with the concept of tomato sauce, he found a way to add a nutrient boost to meals, including vitamins, minerals and fiber.

    The solution: a tomato-based sauce combined with ten other vegetables.

    It’s full of flavor, and a great way to sneak in vegetables that the vegetable-averse will never suspect.

    But you don’t have to be vegetable-averse to love this sauce: It’s delicious for everyone.

    There are three varieties:

  • Organic Essential Sauce
  • Organic Carrot Bolognese
  • Spicy Organic Sauce*
  •  
     
    WHAT’S IN OTAMOT ESSENTIAL SAUCE

    The sauces include 9 to 12 different vegetables, depending on flavor.

    In order of percentage, Organic Essential Sauce contains: vine ripened tomato, carrot, red bell pepper, sweet potato, butternut squash, spinach, red beet, leek, sweet onion, garlic, grapeseed oil and portobello mushroom.

    This combination adds 15 vitamins and nutrients, including lycopene and vitamins A, B3, B6, C, E and K, among others.

    The sauces are gluten free, no sugar added, Non GMO, USDA Organic, high in fiber, and have 3 grams of protein per serving.

    For sure, Otamot is a new way of looking at a favorite family food, tomato sauce.

    We’ve been giving jars to friends, and plan to use them as party favors and stocking stuffers.
     
     
    THINGS TO MAKE WITH OTAMOT ESSENTIAL SAUCE

    Otamot is surprisingly versatile beyond pasta and pizza. Use the sauces in:

  • Bean dishes
  • Braises
  • Chili and stews
  • Dips and spreads, including flavoring hummus or plain yogurt
  • Eggs, including shakshouka
  • Mac and cheese
  • Meatballs, meatloaf and burgers
  • Pasta and pizza sauces
  • Rice and other grains
  • Salad dressing (add a spin to vinaigrette or ranch)
  • Soup (just thin the sauce)
  • Tex-Mex: enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas
  • Vegetables: steamed, raw, roasted, spiralized
  •  
    The creator, Andrew Suzuka, says his favorite use of the Spicy version is in a Bloody Mary.

    We used it as a dip for shrimp in a raw bar. We also admit to eating it from the jar.

    We’ll be ordering it by the case!
     
     
    TREAT YOURSELF TO SOME OTAMOT NOW!

    Otamot is currently available at retailers in the Northeast (store locator), but you can buy assortments on the company website, OtamotFoods.com/Shop.
     
    ________________

    * Debuting at Whole Foods Market stores nationwide in June 2020.

     


    [1] The logical choice: Otamot Essential Sauce with pasta and pizza (all photos © Otamot Foods).


    [2] Tacos with Otamot Essential Sauce.


    [3] Farro topped with roasted carrots and Otamot Essential Sauce.


    [4] This fancy version of ratatouille is called a tian. Here’s the recipe.


    [5] Otamot Essential Sauce ingredients.

     

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    RECIPE: Peanut Butter & Jelly Quesadilla

    Peanut Butter & Jelly Quesadilla
    [1] PB & J quesadillas (photo ©
    U.S. Apple Association).


    [2] Crunch Time, a flavor from PB & Co., is even crunchier than their regular Simply Crunchy (photo © PB & Co.)

     

    For April 2nd, National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day, there are all sorts of peanut butters, jellies and breads to combine.

    We just published a recipe for Peanut Butter & Jelly Pizza. But perhaps you’d prefer a quesadilla?

    We particularly liked this PB & J quesadilla recipe.

    It developed by Chef Dave Martin for the U.S. Apple Association.

    Sandwich…pizza…quesadilla…waffles…Perhaps you’d like to create your own concept?

    For inspiration, take a look at this this Peanut Butter & Jelly Ravioli recipe.
     
     
    RECIPE: PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY QUESADILLA

    Ingredients For 8 Pieces

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 flour tortillas (8-inch size)
  • ½ cup chunky peanut butter
  • ½ cup raspberry preserves
  • 1-2 Fuji apples or other red apple, thinly sliced
  •  
    Preparation

    1. ASSEMBLE on a plate or cookie sheet by spreading one tortilla with peanut butter and apple slices. Spread second tortilla with jam. Put the two tortillas together.

    2. HEAT a sauté pan with oil or butter. Carefully cook the quesadilla over medium-high heat; flip gently with a large spatula. Once both sides are crisp and toasty…

    3. REMOVE from the heat and cool. Slice each quesadilla into 4 pieces and serve.

     

     
      

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    RECIPE: Peanut Butter & Jelly Pizza

    April 2nd is National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day.

    Sure, you could have a sandwich; but how about a PB & J pizza?

    Peanut butter was considered a delicacy in the early 1900s. It was only served in New York City’s finest tea room, to an elite clientele.

  • A recipe in the May 1896 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine “urged homemakers to use a meat grinder to make peanut butter and spread the result on bread.”
  • That same year, in June, the culinary magazine Table Talk published a “peanut butter sandwich recipe.”
  • The earliest-known mention of peanut butter and jelly on bread seems to be by Julia Davis Chandler in 1901, in the Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics.
  • In the late 1920s, the price of peanut butter declined, and the sandwich became a popular choice for children.
  • In 1968, The J.M. Smucker Co. introduced Goober, a jar that combined alternating vertical stripes of peanut butter and jelly. You can still find it on Amazon and elsewhere [source].
  •  
     
    HOW TO MAKE A PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY PIZZA

    Substitute the sandwich bread for a pizza crust, and you’re halfway there. A 12″ crust provides 4-6 servings.

    You may have seen PB&J dessert pizzas on a pizza crust. If you want one here’s a recipe, but we’re sticking with the PB & J.

    In order to have the most artistic presentation, use jelly instead of jam or preserves, and pipe it on. Before adding it to the piping bag (or plastic food storage bag), warm the jar slightly to make the jelly easier to pipe.

    You can pipe it however you want. Not having the skill to make these concentric circles, we did a Jackson Pollack design, Zigzags or stripes also work.
     
    Ingredients

  • 1 plain prepared pizza crust
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup jelly (grape, raspberry, strawberry)
  • Optional garnish: banana, sliced (the “pepperoni”)
  • Optional garnish: vanilla yogurt (the “mozzarella”)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F. Place the pizza dough on a cookie sheet or in a pizza pan. Pierce the dough in 10 places with a fork.

    2. MICROWAVE the jar of peanut butter with the lid off for 30-45 seconds, or until the peanut butter has runny consistency.

    3. POUR a small amount of peanut butter over the crust. Spread it with a knife until the dough is lightly coated.

    4. WARM the preserves for for 30-45 seconds,, also with the top off, and place it the runny jelly in a piping bag or a food storage bag with a small snip off one of the bottom corners. Pipe the jelly on top of the peanut butter.

    5. TOP with the banana “pepperoni” and drizzle lightly with the yogurt “mozzarella.”

    6. BAKE the pizza for 8-10 minutes, keeping an eye on it. When the crust is golden brown and the jelly is bubbling, the pizza is done.

    7. LET COOL until it’s easy to cut. Serve while it’s still warm.

     

    PB&J Pizza
    [1] This variation is from Nicole at Heat Oven To 350. See her recipe, which is slightly different, to learn the easy way to make the jelly design (photo © Heat Oven To 350).

    Peanut Butter & Jelly Pizza[/caption]
    [2] Trish at Mom On Timeout makes her pizza with a sugar dough crust. She also piped the jelly in concentric circles. Here’s her recipe (photo © Mom On Timeout).


    [3] Goober Peanut Butter & Jelly, available with grape jelly or strawberry jam (photo © Smucker’s).

     

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Chocolate Mousse With Blue Cheese & Mango

    Chocolate Mousse With Mango
    [1] Chocolate mousse with a secret: blue cheese blended into it (both photos © Castello Cheese USA).


    [2] Castello blue cheese.


    [3] Häagen-Dazs Mango Sorbet (photo © Häagen-Dazs).

     

    The name of this dish may sound like an April Fool’s Day joke: A mousse of chocolate and blue cheese.

    We first had the chocolate-blue cheese combination 13 years ago.

    It was a great moment in modern truffles when Lillie Belle Farms blended Rogue Creamery’s Smokey Blue blue cheese into its excellent chocolate (here’s our review).

    They remain a personal favorite of ours, and you can buy them from Lillie Belle.

    You can also purchase a wedge or wheel of Smokey Blue Cheese from Rogue Creamery.

    Now onto the recipe: a sophisticated, delicious riff on chocolate mousse.

    Thanks to Castello Cheese for the recipe.

    If you want to make the sorbet quenelle shown in photo #1, here’s how.

    Otherwise, a mini scoop will do.
     
     
    RECIPE: CHOCOLATE MOUSSE WITH BLUE CHEESE AND MANGO

    Ingredients For 8 Servings

  • 5 squares (about 5 ounces) semi-sweet dark chocolate
  • 1/3 cup Castello® Crumbled Blue Cheese, or substitute
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup cane sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • Garnish: 2 mangoes, skin removed and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • Garnish: 1 pint mango sorbet (we like Häagen-Dazs)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. GENTLY MELT the chocolate and crumbled blue cheese in a bowl atop a double boiler.

    2. BEAT the egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl, to a light airy consistency, approximately 5 minutes.

    3. BEAT the egg whites to a soft peak in a separate medium bowl.

    4. BEAT the whipping cream to a soft peak in another separate bowl.

    5. FOLD the blue cheese mixture into the egg yolk mixture, then gently fold in the whipped cream mixture, then fold in the egg whites.

    6. POUR into 8 individual dessert dishes; top with the diced mango and serve with a scoop of mango sorbet if desired.
     
     
    > THE HISTORY OF CHOCOLATE MOUSSE <
     
     
    APRIL 3rd IS NATIONAL MOUSSE DAY

     

     
      

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