Friday, March 30, 2012

Lemon Curd

Lemon curd really is a thing of summer. It tastes like sunshine in a jar and with the recent heatwave here I just had to make some. It's March and we've been able to comfortably walk around in shorts and Ireland... That doesn't usually happen until June, if it happens at all. 

My mum loves lemon curd (in fact I'll be bringing her a jar of it when I go to visit tomorrow). If it were up to her I think she'd have it on toast every morning. My nana (her mum) used to make it every year in summer when lemons were in season and this recipe is one that I found in my mum's recipe binder which is about 35 years older than I am!

Lemon Curd
Makes around 2 jars (1.5 cups-ish)
  • grated zest of 2 lemons
  • juice of 4 lemons
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 135g caster sugar
  • 60g butter (cold, cubed)
Combine zest and juice in a bowl and let it for 15 minutes
Whisk sugar and egg yolks in a medium glass or stainless steel bowl until mix reached the consitency of mayonnaise
Add juice mixture and mix
Heat a little water in a saucepan until gently simmering and place bowl over this saucepan ensuring the base of the bowl does not come in contact with the surface of the water
Cook for around 15 minutes, stirring constantly with a spatula, until it reaches the consistency of thick custard/pudding
Remove from heat and add the butter a little at a time, stirring it until it melts. Cool the curd by placing the bowl in cold water, stirring occasionally to ensure a skin doesn't form.

Enjoy on scones, toast, crusty read, muffins or just eat by the spoonful. I have a plan for half of my batch and I'll post that recipe soon!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Peanut Butter Cookies

So the business has really taken off recently; my supplier is selling four batches per week and I'm really enjoying coming up with new mix in ideas (next up is smores!!!). I've also been doing comissions and last week I got an order for two batches of peanut butter cookies to be given as gifts.

I haven't made peanut butter cookies since I was like 11 years old and the recipe I use hasn't changed that much. It came from a really old children's cookbook given to me by my Percy when I was 9. Unfortunately I have since lost that cookbook somewhere along the way but I still have my peanut butter cookie recipe!

I've swapped 1/2 cup of granulated sugar for the same of light brown sugar and added the baking powder. The original recipe also called for creaming the butter and sugar but melting it gives a chewier cookie which is much better!

Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes 12

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup & 2 tbsp peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
  • 1 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 egg
Preheat the oven to 180C
Combine the cooled melted butter and sugars in a bowl and beat well
Add the egg and vanilla and beat well
Add peanut butter and beat until well combined
In another bowl combine the flour and baking powder
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix, using your hands when the flour is almost totally mixed in
The dough should come together easily and be slightly sticky (add more flour if it is very sticky)
Pinch off tablespoonful sized lumps and roll into balls
Flatten these balls into rounds and place on a lined baking tray
Bake for 7-10 mins until the edges are golden

Cool completely and enjoy with milk :)

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the made up gift jars (my camera went on the blink) but they turned out really well and the recipient was very happy :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Could Gluten be Ruining our Health?

I came across this article and I'm not convinced, particularily by the Duke 2009 study... There's a lot of scope for experimental error in that and I just can't get behind it.

Although the whole notion is pretty interesting so I'm gonna post it up anyway