Sunday, February 15, 2009


Our friends JoAnn and Gary had a late-morning get-together today with a small mob of Hungry People. We ate like kings, everyone having brought some sort of tasty dish. Smoked trout and salmon... bagels... cheese... JoAnn’s noodle kugel... fruit... rugelach... cakes...

She Who Must Be Obeyed contributed a Blueberry French Toast Casserole.

Think of it as a variant on the kugel. Starch (challah), eggs, and cream cheese... half-and-half... maple syrup... with fresh blueberries to set the whole thing off. It was massively delicious.

Blueberry French Toast Casserole
SWMBO’s Blueberry French Toast Casserole.

Conveniently enough, I had a goodly handful of Meyer lemons in the fridge, so I whipped up a mess of Meyer Lemon Curd - an old favorite courtesy of the Bakerina - the gentle tartness of which acted as a perfect counterpoint to the sweet blueberries.

Lemon curd is delicious. It suffers, alas, from an unfortunate name that rhymes with “turd.” Don’t let that hold you back.

Meyer Lemon Curd

½ cup sugar
3 large eggs, plus 4 yolks
¾ cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (about 4-5 lemons worth)
2 tsp lemon zest
4-8 tbsp chilled butter, cut into small chunks

Zest the lemons, being careful not to remove any of the white pith. (A Microplane grater is perfect for this purpose.) Put the sugar in the work bowl of a food processor with the zest; process for about one minute until the sugar is aromatic and lemony.

In a metal bowl or the top of a double boiler, whisk the eggs, egg yolks, and lemon zest-sugar together until blended. Place over simmering water and cook, whisking frequently, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the lemon juice. Continue whisking and stirring as you cook, bringing the mixture to 160˚F. As you approach the target temperature, the mixture will become foamy; the foam will then subside and the mixture will begin to thicken. You’re looking for a consistency like loose sour cream. Do not overcook or the mixture will curdle - you do not want a pile of lemon-flavored scrambled eggs.

Remove from the heat and press through a strainer into a clean bowl. Now, whisk the butter into the still-warm mixture, one chunk at a time. [Use the full 8 tbsp if you want a richer curd - I generally use 4-6 tbsp.]

Place the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water until chilled, then decant into a serving bowl or storage container. Or ladle it into individual tartlet shells. It’s a welcome burst of citrusy sunshine for a winter’s day.

Now: Where da Bromo-Seltzer at?

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