Meyer Lemon Curd

Earlier this spring, while shopping at our local warehouse store, we picked up a basket of Meyer Lemons. I had a couple of things in mind as the 5 pound basket hit my shopping cart.One idea was Meyer Lemon Curd. This recipe can be found on Martha’s website.

Meyer Lemon Curd – As a Macaron Filling

For this recipe I used:
1 Cup of Whey Low Granular sugar substitute
Zest of 3 Lemons
3 Large Eggs
4 Large Egg Yolks
1 Cup of Meyer Lemon Juice
5 Ounces of Unsalted Butter

I stared by zesting the lemons with a microplane. Thankfully I only needed to zest 3!! Then I juice the lemons to make one cup of juice.

Meyer Lemon Curd -The Zest

For a recipe to move smoothly I always find it easier to gather all of the ingredients together in the proper amounts.

Meyer Lemon Curd – The Ingredients

In the food processor I added the Whey Low Granular and the lemon zest and ran the machine until everything was blended well together.

Meyer Lemon Curd – Zest and Sugar Mixture

Next I placed the sugar mixture and  all of the eggs and egg yolks into a medium  bowl.

Meyer Lemon Curd – Eggs & Sugar Mixture

Over a pan of lightly simmering water I whisked the eggs and sugar continually until the sugar had dissolved. This took me 10 minutes.

Meyer Lemon Curd – At the Start of the Heating Process

Once the sugar has been thoroughly dissolved It was time to add the lemon juice. I continued to whisk until the mixture was thick and the temperature measured 160˚. This took me 8 minutes.

Meyer Lemon Curd – Adding the Lemon Juice

Once the mixture was thick and to temperature I moved the bowl to a sit on a damp kitchen towel and then I whisked in the butter a bit at a time until everything was well combined.

Meyer Lemon Curd – Adding the Butter
Meyer Lemon Curd – Perfectly Mixed

I then moved the warm lemon curd bowl and rested it inside a larger Pyrex bowl some ice in it and carefully added cold water to the outer bowl. I gave the lemon curd a few stirs with the whisk. I took some plastic wrap and covered the bowl ensuring the wrap was clinging to the top of the lemon curd. It was then time to chill both bowls in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Meyer Lemon Curd -Ready for the Fridge

This Meyer Lemon Curd is great for a bunch of things from cake fillings to a thinned sauce. It tastes great on toast too!

Baker’s Notes:

  • I am not sure I would buy Meyer Lemons again
  • the bowl over the pan gets really hot – be prepared
  • the recipe says to prepare a water bath at the beginning. I found I had the bowl too full of water so doing it at the end was my solution

Undocumented Events – Mostly

With the move this summer, this year has been a complete blur.  Here a couple of items that I made that exist only in finished (or partially eaten) picture form. Enjoy…. We did!!

Rainbow Cake
Rainbow Cake at the House Warming
Pecan Tart ( Pecan Pie baked in tart form)

How to Skin Hazelnuts

Skinning Hazelnuts – The finished Hazelnuts

This year I need to use about 7 pounds of hazelnuts for the Linzer Cookie and Lebkuchen recipes that I want to make. I usually try to avoid 2 hazelnut recipes in one year but there was a special request. So here I am talking about how to remove the skins from hazelnuts.

There are two popular ways to remove skins. The first way is to roast the hazelnuts in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes at 350 degrees then place the hot hazelnuts in a tea towel and vigorously rub the papery skins off. I have tried this. For small batches or recipes where you definitely need the whole hazelnut this is the best way to get the task done. In my experience 75% to 80% of the skins come off.

For 7 pounds the heat and rub process is a long tedious task that makes a huge mess.

The way I have removed the skins from hazelnuts is to briefly boil them in water with baking soda added to the pot. I don’t believe you save any time with this method but you do end up with 95% of the skins being removed.

To skin 2 pounds of hazelnuts you will need:

Skinning Hazelnuts

1 – 4 Quart sauce pan filled with 2 Quarts of Water
2 –  Pounds of Hazelnuts
3 – Tablespoons of Baking Soda
1 – Colander
1 – 3 to 4 Quart bowl
1 – Baking sheet

Skinning Hazelnuts – Boiling

Bring the water to a boil and then add the baking soda. Add the hazel nuts and bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Before the hazelnuts boil a brown scum will rise. Skim the residue off until it no longer rises.

Skinning Hazelnuts – Rinsing the Skins Off

Pour the boiled hazelnuts into a colander and rinse for 2 minutes under cool running water. Run your hands through the nuts while the water is running to start the skin removal process and cool the hazelnuts quickly.

Once the hazelnuts have cooled shake the water from the colander then place the colander on a plate on the counter.

Skinning Hazelnuts – Skins Removed

With cool running water gently pull the skin off of each nut and place the nut in a bowl. Continue until complete.

The whole process took me about 45 minutes.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

After the nuts have been skinned and the colander has been cleaned of wayward skins drain the skinned hazelnuts. Place the drained hazelnuts on the baking sheet and place in the oven. Start checking the hazelnuts for dryness about 30 minutes into the roasting time. Nuts should be dry and hollow sounding. This can take up to 45 minutes.

Cool the hazelnuts then place them in a freezer bag and freeze until needed.

While this method does take time about 95% of the skins are removed. The one downside is not every nut survives in the whole state. Great for my purposes this year.

Happy Skinning & Baking!

More below…..

Skinning Hazelnuts – Skimming Remnants
Skinning Hazelnuts – Cooled Hazelnuts
Skinning Hazelnuts – Skin Remains

Holiday Baking 2011

I have been thinking over the past couple of weeks that I really need to get the holiday baking list underway.I have personally had a lot go on this year which in turn means there will be fewer cookies needed this year. Stay tuned for the list….. Suggestions most welcome too!

French Almond Nougat

French Almond Nougat

Safe to say this is recipe that I did not think of while in the heat of the desert back in July.

In my quest to add something different to this year’s baking I decided to try this recipe for French Almond Nougat. I remember having nougat that we used to buy at the local Woolco store out of the Brach’s candy bins. It was good but it was so long ago I really can not remember clearly. I figured a recipe from the BIG M would be just the thing. I found the recipe, from Martha Stewart, here.

I used:
8 Large Egg Whites
9 Cups of Light Corn Syrup
8 Cups of Sugar
16 Tablespoons of Butter
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract – Tahitian works well here as it will not be cooked
2 teaspoons of Salt
14 Cups of Raw Whole Almonds

I ran into a problem wrapping the finished nougat up. Each piece has to be fully contained. I ended up using cut strips of parchment paper twisted at both ends. My initial trial of using waxed paper with the ends open ended in a massive failure!

The nougat was well received citing one recipient “it was like an orgasm wrapped in paper“.

This one is a keeper!!

French Almond Nougat – Final cutting and wrapping

There were a couple of tools/ingredients that I used that I think made this recipe easier and better:
Chicago Metallic Square Pans
All Clad 4 Quart Sauce Pan
All Clad 3 Quart Sauce Pan
Kitchen Aid 6 Quart Mixer
Nielson & Massey Tahitian Vanilla

Thank you for reading my 50th post!

French Almond Nougat – Preparing the pans
French Almond Nougat – Melted butter and Tahitian Vanilla
French Almond Nougat – Making the sugar syrups
French Almond Nougat – Heating up
French Almond Nougat – Just about at temperature
French Almond Nougat – Beating the egg whites and first sugar syrup for the mazetta
French Almond Nougat – Adding the Whole Almonds
French Almond Nougat – Getting it into the pan
French Almond Nougat – Very sticky!
French Almond Nougat – Smoothed out and ready to cool for a few hours
French Almond Nougat – Cutting into serving size

Oatmeal Toffee Cookies – Completed

One of those recipes I made earlier to bake off just before Christmas. These cookies are truly great all year round but none of my friends usually have the chance to try them so including them at Christmas time allows me to share! The sour cherries, chocolate, and toffee bits make these cookies the perfect coffee break addition!One change I will make is to use milk chocolate rather than bitter sweet. Just a preference.

Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

More pictures after the jump…..

Cutting the right size!
Prepared for their 12 minutes of glory.
Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

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