lemons, mrs beeton and colombia…

…meanwhile in Northwest Spain, in a little corner of Galicia…

I love this lemon tree…it’s not that it is particularly beautiful, it’s just that it takes a pretty plucky organism to weather a galician winter ( temps can drop below zero, there are frequent frosts and occasional snow). This is after all a Mediterranean tree that should not really survive and even thrive 500m above sea level in the very celtic landscape of Galicia.

But it does survive and even thrives with the aid of a little shelter overhead to protect it from the harshest winter frosts. So what to to do with all these lemons?

Lemon curd is good, this recipe comes from a 1960’s edition of Mrs Beeton All About Cookery (with some minor alterations). Incidentally this cook book has a bit of history also, having survived a house fire and water damage! Mrs B does have some horrible recipes – by all accounts she did not even test her recipes – but my mum still dips into this book occasionally and says everything she has tried has worked…This lemon curd certainly does as i just made it and it is delicious!

Take 4 unwaxed organic lemons, zest and juice them. In a heat proof bowl whisk 3 whole free range organic eggs (optional – add one extra yolk) till fluffy and add :
200g of caster sugar
150g of butter (i like salted, but you can use unsalted if you like)
the lemon zest and juice

Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water (being careful for the bowl not to be touching the water) and stir constantly for about ten minutes during which time the mixture will thicken to a custard like consistency. Allow mixture to cool and then pour into sterilized jars. The curd will keep in the fridge for 7 to ten days.

Makes great lemon meringue pie too!

When i was in Colombia last year i discovered the delights of Limonada. Its really easy to make, again you need good unwaxed (preferably organic) lemons. Then all you do is blitz in a blender: a couple of whole lemons (quartered so you can get rid of any seeds, but keep everything else)a little ice, some water and sugar to taste. It makes a frothy pale lemon drink that tastes unbelievably good, but you should really drink it within an hour or so of its making  as the pith tends to cause it to go bitter after that.

other foody posts on this blog:

merluza-a-la-cazuela   lebre con castañas   callos a la gallega   ossobuco vs xerrete  in praise of colombian food  restaurant still lives  few flowered recipes  first forage of the season  nose to tail and farajullas  flloeira  cocido gallego   albariño wine genius  chorizos  returning to the matanza  chocolate con churros  pani puri sunday  cicchetti tea-break  baracca empanada  revelations in a milanese restaurant  further adventures in foraging  cooking the haul  foraging2 foraging  nose to tail  (s)light relief  pulpo a la gallega  the matanza  morcilla and dying arts  jamòn serrano

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