97 & 98. Brittle and lemon curd

Home Cooking Made Easy p234 and 237

The only way to make Lorraine’s “winter spiced lemon curd” taste of winter spices is to eat it off a cinnamon stick. The photo in the book seems to have a cinnamon stick poking out of it like a straw and some whole cloves which my sister says are “looking optimistic,” even though the recipe actually says you should strain the bits out.

However, having said that, I wouldn’t want to eat lemon curd which tasted of winter spices. It’s nice enough on its own. So here’s a simple plain lemon curd recipe. You need to cook it in a heatproof bowl over a pan with a little bit of simmering water (the water shouldn’t touch the bowl).

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Lorraine’s recipe didn’t say to cut the butter into cubes, so I didn’t, and then realised my mistake, fished it out, and did!
You let it cook away without boiling for about 20 minutes until it has thickened. I found it difficult to know when it was thick enough – a bit like roux sauce! – but it will set more as it cools, so don’t worry too much. If you’ve cooked it for 20 mins it will probably be fine. I had to strain the spices out of my mixture, which meant sterilising a sieve and another jug as well, but if you use the simple recipe in my link, that won’t be a problem. I always sterilise jars on the hot setting in the dishwasher, but baby cookingfanatic stuck his finger in one, so I washed it again and dried it out in the oven (another sterilisation method).
It tasted great and was a good lemony colour, but not too bright unlike some supermarket versions! It’s a good gift in a little ramekin or jar and keeps for 2-3 weeks in the fridge.
2012-12-28 15.27.29I also made brittle as a gift this year. Here is a basic peanut brittle recipe. I made the three types Lorraine suggests – sesame seeds and vanilla, pecan and ginger, and macadamia and mint.
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Then I broke it into shards and put in gift bags. The ginger and pecan was my favourite.2012-12-26 22.11.14

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