Lemon curd is a staple in our home when it comes to tea parties. Additionally, it is also one recipe that I bend my sugar rules and use white sugar. The lemon-yellow is just too beautiful to resist on the tea time table. Amazing with scones, layered in a cake, mixed with mascarpone cheese for a berry tart filling, or just by the spoonful (I have never done that…liar liar pants on fire.)
Lemons are one of my favorite winter treats. I love their beautiful pop of color when everything else in nature lies dormant. My mom has a beautiful Meyer lemon tree that is bursting with bright, juicy lemons come wintertime. Her care packages, with each lemon carefully wrapped in paper towels and bubble wrap, are a winter gift. Each lemon a treasure to unwrap. Each lemon a reminder of my mom.
Clearly, these lovely lemons immediately get placed in a place of honor, a special bowl on display to brighten the room. They are a way to connect me to my mom across the miles, as well as jump into my winter list of favorite lemon recipes. Check out my recipe on Preserved Lemons that I use in all my favorite savory dishes. Don’t you just love lemons?
- 6 large free-range, organic eggs
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 2/3 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice from about 3-4 room temperature lemons
- 8 T ( 1 stick) grass-fed butter cut into cubes
- Zest from one large lemon (outer yellow skin of the lemon)
- Add eggs, lemon juice, and sugar to a stainless steel bowl set over a pot of simmering water. This creates a makeshift double boiler.
- Whisk together constantly over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes until the curd is as thick as hollandaise sauce and coats the back of a spoon.
- Immediately remove from heat and pour through a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps. Don't skip this step!
- Cut in butter and zest and stir to incorporate.
- Cover with a thin layer of plastic wrap resting directly on the curd to prevent a skin developing and place in the refrigerate for up to a week.
- Serve with Tea Party Scones, use as a lemon filling for a cake, or mix with marscapone cheese and add to a berry tart.
I like to freeze about a cup of the lemon curd to use in other recipes or pull out for a quick private one-on-one "date" with one of the kids.
The Coat Test for the Right Consistency
For all us visual learners, this spoon is for you. Ultimately, I thrive on pictures to help me see that I am indeed going in the right direction. For best results, you will want to heat your lemon curd until the spoon holds a thick layer. Furthermore, if you can swipe a line across the spoon and your line remains, the curd is ready. Avoid the urge to lick the spoon. At least wait until it has been strained and the butter has been mixed in. Come on now, you know you want to.
Don’t Skip This Step!!!
My bestie follows EVERY recipe to the letter. As a result, her food always tastes delicious. Ultimately, I tend to look for shortcuts, color outside the lines a bit, and explore. Well friends, this is not the place to do that. For years I skipped over this step because I thought is was unnecessary, but when I finally decided to strain it…angels descended. Seriously, I had no idea what creamy, lemony, deliciousness I had been avoiding through my laziness all these years. Plus, look at the image above at all that gets left behind. Yuck!!!
Adding the Butter & Zest
After all the yucky bits have been filtered out of your lemony bliss, add in the butter pieces and lemon zest and stir in. Use right away, or place a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. This recipe makes three cups of curd, so I usually set half aside in a freezer container and freeze for another time or to be used in other recipes. Lemon curd freezes well.
Lemon Curd…The Perfect Children’s Tea Time Treat
Sauces are meant to compliment something. Lemon curd is one of my favorite sweet sauces and goes perfectly with Tea Party Scones. Preparing scones and lemon curd is a fun activity to do with your children especially if you are preparing a tea party for outside guests. When you prepare a sauce of any sort, you are taking the time to let your company and your family know they are worth the extra effort.
We are big fans of tea parties in our house, especially in the winter. As a result, I have collected many tea cups over time from family members, thrift shops, and Homegoods. No paper cups here. No way! We pull out the good stuff: china, crystal, and silver candles. Throwing a pretty table cloth on the table with candles and soft music playing sets the tone for a wonderful afternoon visit.
Tea Party Soundtrack
Tea parties are a perfect place to teach etiquette and enJOY culture. Without a doubt music sets the tone. Some of our favorite albums are:
- Tchaikovsky at Tea Time
- Sense and Sensibility Soundtrack
- Pride and Prejudice Soundtrack
- Scala & Kolacny
- Poldark Soundtrack
- Downton Abbey Soundtrack
- Little Woman Soundtrack
- Chris Botti
- Miss Potter Soundtrack
- Becoming Jane Soundtrack
Take a Hygge Moment for Yourself with Scones and Lemon Curd
If you have read any of my other posts, you have probably heard me mention the word Hygge. To learn more about Hygge, check out my post on Hygge, Happiness, and Abiding Joy. Every woman needs time to herself to be just her. In my Simply Charlotte Mason homeschooling circles, I have heard it called Mother Culture for moms, or more generally, “me time”. My son has even taken notice when I haven’t set enough time to fuel up and has respectfully suggested I take some time to go out and have some alone time. I did that for a while, but then realized, I didn’t really want to go out. I wanted everyone else to go out for a special time so I could have some time to myself at home.
My special time to myself always includes a special treat. Here are some of my favorite refuel moments:
- Tea Party Scones and Lemon Curd by the fire
- Chocolate Almond Biscotti with a cup of tea
- Popcorn with a Pop and a chick flick or good book
- Hot Fudge Sundae and a foot soak
- Kombucha or Citrus & Pine Winter Shrub in the garden
- Pilates and peppermint tea (I had to put something that doesn’t make it sound like all I do is eat sweets all the time to refuel…)
Everyone needs to take a moment to be kind to themselves so they can continue pouring out to those around them.