I saved a tree today, but not the complete tree. It is looking sort of strange. It is missing a few limbs. I have spoken previously about my neighbor that has this wonderful prolific lemon tree. It feeds the whole neighborhood, a few joggers that jog by, and a few gardeners.
Yesterday while getting ready to go to the market I heard voices outside my gate. I went out to see what was going on. Apparently someone reported my neighbor for an overgrown lemon tree. The limbs were hanging over the fence. Whose life is so empty that an overgrown lemon tree gets on their radar?
The Association was there to monitor the problem. My sweet neighbor is there trying to be accommodating. The gardener was there with a chainsaw in hand. I said it would be a shame to cut it down when the neighbors depend on the organic tree for their lemon cakes, and cured lemons, and lemon bars. Many a night I have seen a neighbor run over and snatch a lemon for their vinaigrette for a salad or lift the flavor of soup. Ms. Association said, “It must come down, if someone got hit in the head by a lemon the Association would be in a lawsuit.” Oh, my gosh it was all I could do not to laugh, but there were so many people standing around I thought this must be serious. I said, please don’t cut the whole thing, just the limbs that are in danger of possibly beaning someone that walks by. Ms. Association concurred.
When I returned home my neighbor had left a big bag of lemons, so now I need to make something lemon.
I have not posted as many lemon recipes as I have wanted. I only want the best of the best to make it to my blog so I have held off on posting. Then I was reading David Lebovitz’ recipe for Improved Lemon Curd. If anyone should know about lemon curd a pastry chef should know. He used Meyer lemons. Mine are not Meyer, but they are so fresh I prefer them to anything you can buy in a market. I liked that his version has less sugar than other recipes. Meyer are sweeter requiring less sugar, but even with his adjustments it is less sweet. For those that do not know, the guy was a pastry chef for years and worked for Alice Water until he moved to France. Along with other books, he has written the go-to ice cream book, and lets us know what is going on in France, something that has become my guilty pleasure.
I was anxious to try the recipe. I added the peel of the lemon – just the yellow zest part that contains the lemon oils – not the white pith because it is bitter. I cooked it in the curd and then strained it out. Please strain your lemon curd just to be sure there is no overcooked egg.
It never occurred to me that lemons could be dangerous. Every time I see an overgrown lemon tree I don’t think lawsuit, I think that would make a lot of lemon tarts. Have you ever been hit in the head with a lemon?
Thank you Mr. Lebovitz for improving the lemon curd. Kudos to you.
- ½ cup (125 ml) freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- ⅓ cup (65 g) sugar (or ½ cup, 100 g, if using regular lemons)
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 large eggs
- pinch of salt
- 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, cubed
- Zest of the lemons
- Mise en place ~ Gather ingredients
- Set up a strainer over a bowl.
- You need a bowl of ice water.
- You need a sterilized jar with a lid; set aside.
- Whisk together the lemon juice, sugar, egg yolks, eggs, and salt; pour into a pan.
- Add butter cubes; set the pan over low heat, whisk constantly until the butter melts.
- Increase the heat slightly; stir constantly, until the mixture thickens.
- It’s done when you lift the whisk and the mixture holds its shape when it falls back into the saucepan from the whisk.
- Immediately strain the curd into a bowl; place the bowl into the ice bath to cool.
- When cool, fill the sterilized jar; store lemon curd in the refrigerator.
- It will keep for up to one week.
I’m taking this to