(Oct. 22, 2021) Is the idea of free will even plausible?
Free will is the act of selecting or making an objective decision when faced with two or more possibilities.
However, the mental complexity of an individual is permeated with their past, psychological temperament, passion and specific goals.
One might argue the idea of free will is flavored with other factors that negates the theory of unbiased decisions. You might be wondering what does this has to do with gastronomy?
Professional chefs proclaim homemade dishes are always preferred over store-bought meals.
In theory this sounds great, but what about the person who does not like to spend time in the kitchen? What about busy mothers with several children? And there are those who do not have the stamina to prepare certain dishes.
For those who choose to make dishes from scratch, lemon curd is a must. And for those who prefer prepared foods, lemon curd is simple and you should give it a try.
Lemon curd is a luscious, lemony, sweet topping that consists of seven ingredients: lemons, eggs, sugar, salt, unsalted butter, vanilla and cream.
Lemon curd pairs perfectly with fresh fruit, scones, crepes, angel food cake, toasted breads, pound cake, and much more.
It is believed that lemon custard or lemon curd was first prepared in England by Protestant Quakers during the 18th century and the recipe traveled to North America with the Quakers.
The early recipes were different form today’s lemon curd. It was literally curds and not the smooth texture we know today.
Understanding purpose intended yields knowledge and confidence.
The eggs thicken the curd, which is critical to its texture. Fresh lemons are your only option, bottled lemon juice is forbidden. Sugar supplies sweetness and structure while salt and vanilla balances the flavor.
Lastly, butter and cream promote creaminess and shininess for a simple but lip-smacking topping.
A double boiler is not mandatory but is highly suggested. If you do not have a double boiler, no worries. Craft a makeshift double boiler by placing a heatproof glass bowl on top of a larger pot with simmering water. Under no circumstances should lemon curd be cooked on direct heat.
That being said, cooking lemon curd in a metal double boiler can sometimes produce a slightly green color and metallic aftertaste. This is the result of the eggs and lemon reacting with the metal.
Double boilers with a porcelain insert or a makeshift double boiler described above will solve this problem. In addition, if you have a silicone whisk, now is the time to use it.
Whisk, whisk, and whisk is the secret to lemon curd. If one does not constantly whisk, the eggs might curdle.
Lemon curd is known for its tart taste and velvety texture. After the curd has cooked, strain it through a mesh strainer to remove the lemon zest. This step is optional and up to the individual cook.
When the lemon curd is cooked, place it in the serving container of your choice. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the curd. This prevents a skin from forming.
Lemon curd will last a good 10 days in the refrigerator. You can also freeze it up to one year. Just make sure that when you freeze it that it is in an airtight container.
Lemon curd makes great gifts. Lemon curd presented in a Mason jar with yellow and orange ribbon is a festive offering.
Do not be fooled by lemon curd’s simplicity, it is packed with flavor. Enjoy!
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1 tablespoon heavy cream
pinch of table salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Fill the bottom of your double water with 2 inches of water. Place on high heat. Once the water comes to a boil, reduce heat to low so it is at a simmer stage.
2. Heat lemon juice and lemon zest in the top section of the double boiler. Add eggs and keep whisking. Gradually add sugar and again keep whisking until the curd clings to a spoon, about 10 minutes. If the mixture is not thickening, increase the heat.
3. Remove pan from heat. Add butter and continue to whisk the mixture. When the butter is fully incorporated into the curd, add cream, vanilla and salt.
4. Strain lemon curd through a mesh strainer.
5. Pour curd into a jar or bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top so it is touching the top of the curd. The curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Once cooled, the plastic wrap can be removed.
6. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Secret Ingredient – No/Yes. “Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the best.”
– John C. Maxwell