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When Life Gives You Eggs

Last week, when made the French pound cake, quatre-quarts, I had an egg mishap. The eggs needed to be separated, and on the last egg, I broke the yolk into the bowl of egg whites and had to start over. I discarded the whites and stored the yolks in the fridge until I could figure out to do with two yolks. I’m not sure what I was thinking because I could have just saved the whites and the yolks, leaving me with two whole eggs, but I didn’t.

Earlier in the month when I made a key lime pie, I had 4 extra egg whites. Those I used in place of two whole eggs in a quick bread. I was less sure what to do with the yolks.

Alice, one of my cyber-friends, made a brilliant suggestion. Alice lives in London, and her idea was very British. “Why not make lemon curd?” she said. I have a stash of Meyer lemons, and I’ve always wanted to try making lemon curd, so that was the solution.

To make a lemon curd, sugar, or for this recipe, honey, is combined into melted butter along with lemon juice. Then, over a double boiler, the egg yolks are whisked into the lemon mixture until it thickens. The recipe said it would take up to 10 minutes, but it took me closer to 20 minutes. I think it took that long because I was conservative about the temperature of water in the double boiler.

The lemon curd is a lovely contrast of sweet and tart. The Meyer lemon gives it floral undertone. Now, I have to whip up a batch of scones for the perfect teatime snack!

Meyer Lemon Curd
Makes 1¼ cups

¼ cup (½ stick) butter
½ cup honey
½ cup Meyer lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
Zest of 1 lemon, if desired

If you are going to use the zest, zest one lemon before juicing it.

In a bowl set over simmering water, melt the butter. Stir the honey into the butter until it’s combined. Now, stir in the lemon juice.

Whisk the egg yolks and whole egg together. Add to the warm lemon mixture. Continue to stir until the mixture thickens. This will take a while, 10 to 20 minutes. It’s done when you run your finger through the mixture on a spoon or spatula, and it doesn’t run back together. Stir in the zest, if using.

Pour into a jar and chill. This will last for two months in the refrigerator.


Lemons as a Substitute for Sunshine

This weekend was wet and windy, to say the least. Our normally dry basement has an inch of water in the low spots, especially near the front corner. So much rain has fallen in the last two days, it’s no wonder that water is seeping through the fieldstone foundation of our 150-year-old house.

Then, the wind gave us a scare last night when it caught the unlatched storm door and ripped the spring out, splintering the door jamb. We awoke to a loud, unfamilar banging. Howard thought it might be an intruder, though Bella slept through the entire incident, losing some points as effective guard dog.

I only ventured out into the rain a few times this weekend. It was restorative to just be home to putter around.

Howard’s mother gives us a calendar every year. This year’s calendar is a Bon Appetit Page-A-Day calendar. I’ve saved a number of the recipes, but I hadn’t actually tried any yet.

The weekend’s recipe was Lemon Shortbread. The lemon flavor came from lemon zest. So, when I before I juiced the Meyer lemons for my Meyer Lemon Pie for Pi Day, I zested the lemons for the shortbread. Two for one!

I dug out the pretty stoneware shortbread mold that I bought a long time ago and never used before. The recipe made two pans of shortbread. I used a metal cake pan for the other pan. I have to say that it came out of the metal pan much easier than the stone pan. I’m not exactly sure why. There was enough butter in the shortbread that it should not have stuck.

A plate of shortbread was perfect with a pot of tea shared with friends on a rainy afternoon!

Meyer Lemon Shortbread

1½ cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 Tbsp Meyer lemon zest
½ tsp salt
¾ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

Preheat the oven to 300F. Blend flour, sugar, cornstarch, zest, and salt in the food processor. Add the butter, pulsing the food processor until moist clumps form.
Gather the dough into a ball. Divide in half. Press each half into a 9-inch cake pan. Pierce all over with a fork.

Bake until cooked through and pale golden, about 40 minutes. Cool shortbread in pans on racks for 5 minutes. Cut each warm shortbread into 12-16 wedges. Cool completely in the pan. Gentle turn pan over and press the pan bottom. The shortbread should pop out of the pan in one piece. On a cutting board with a large knife, cut through the wedge lines.