Tuesday, January 24, 2012


on the wall of a 6th.century synagogue in the southern Negev, Israel, shows

two etrogim (yellow citron)  at the base of a menorah. 

Nephrite Budda's Hand lemon, Ming Dinasty,

Let Proust have his madeleines. When I want a treat that evokes sunshine, secluded beaches, a green sea dotted with multicoloured sails, I will take lemon curd. Deliciously tart, versatile, and easy to prepare, this ambrosial concoction probably originated in Elizabethan England. It is not difficult for me to imagine great batches  of it bubbling away in  the very kitchen of the Virgin Queen. She was, after all, a lover of preserves and dulcets.
One does not have to be royal in order to indulge in lemon curd.  Sugar is no longer the luxury it  was in the 16th. century and neither are lemons. The latter are abundant and fairly  inexpensive at this time the year. One can choose less common varieties of lemon as the main ingredient for curd-- Meyer ons, hand of Buddha or the yellow lemon Israels call etrog. I suspect that  yuzu would also work. I will lnow come autumn, if a neighbour decides to ell some of her harvest. Meantime I go with what is available at the local supermarket--Lisbon lemons, I believe. I wash them thoroughly, remove enough zest to fill a tablespoon,  squeeze enough--six or seven, depending on size-- to get three quarters of a cup of juice, add eggs, butter and sugar and cook in an enamelled pot at medium heat  for six minutes. That's it. The recipe yields twelve ounces of curd that  can be used as filling for cookies, as a spread for scones, toast, biscotti. Heck, it is good enough to hold together two Proustian madeleines.

 Tawny at www.allrecipes.com

  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed


  1. In a 2 quart saucepan, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, eggs, and butter. Cook over medium-low heat until thick enough to hold marks from whisk, and first bubble appears on surface, about 6 minutes.
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