Meyer Lemon Curd Bars

So what do you make with Meyer Lemon Curd?  Why Meyer Lemon Curd Bars, of course!

Meyer Lemon Curd Bars | Bakewell Junction - sweet and tart deliciousness.

Meyer Lemon Curd Bars | Bakewell Junction

My hubby had been bugging me about the curd.  What are you going to do with the curd?  When are you going to do something with the curd?  And, so on.

I had seen recipes with lemon curd bars using a short bread crust and I have a shortbread recipe that I already like so, I paired that with the curd.  I loved the results.  The hubby still thought the curd was too tart.  I don’t really understand since he adds lemon juice to his fish – oh well.

Meyer Lemon Curd Bars | Bakewell Junction - sweet and tart deliciousness.On another note…  Has anyone had warmer weather lately?  Last week gave us the coldest day yet.  Tuesday started at -13 outside my house and -16 at the park and ride.  Yes, those are minus signs in front of those numbers.  I find that I always feel colder if it’s windy even if the wind chill isn’t as cold as those actual temp numbers above.  We’re getting another few inches of snow today but the weather man says it will be getting warmer this coming week, so hopefully there will be some melting.

Meyer Lemon Curd Bars | Bakewell Junction - sweet and tart deliciousness.

Enjoy!

Meyer Lemon Curd Bars

Yield:  16 bars                  Cook Time:  17 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature or softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup Meyer Lemon Curd (about 1/2 the recipe)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Step 1:  In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar and mix with an electric mixer.  Add vanilla to the butter mixture.  In another bowl, combine flour and salt.  Add flour mixture to the butter mixture.  Mix on low until dough begins to form.

Step 2:  Line an 8 by 8 inch baking pan with aluminum foil (some of the foil should overlap the rim; you’ll use it to remove the bars) and spray with cooking spray.  Transfer the dough into the baking pan and press evenly into the bottom of the pan.  Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 17 to 22 minutes.  The shortbread is done when it’s golden brown around the edges and lightly golden in the middle.

Step 3:  Remove the pan from the oven and let cool 10 minutes.  Use the aluminum foil to lift the bars out of the pan.  As the bars cool spread the Meyer Lemon Curd evenly across the shortbread.  Let cool completely.

Step 4:  Slice into 2 by 2 inch squares.  Sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar.  Try not to eat them all at once.

Tips:  Keeps in a sealed plastic container for a week.

Enjoy!!!

Shortbread adapted from Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook recipe on Food Network.  A variation of Eli Zabar’s shortbread cookies.

This post may also be entered in these linky parties.  Click the here to visit the other great posts in the blog hops.  Entered here also:  savvysouthernstyle.net

Meyer Lemon Curd

It’s Meyer Lemon season, so I thought it would be a great change for Valentine’s Day to have Meyer Lemon Curd instead of chocolate.  If you really need to have to have chocolate, fill a mason jar with red M&M’s or try one of my many chocolate recipes.

Meyer Lemon Curd | Bakewell Junction

Meyer Lemon Curd | Bakewell Junction

I’d seen lots of recipes for lemon curd but I didn’t want just any old curd for my first time making it.  So I found this recipe and liked the fact that it was made with honey instead of sugar.  I’m not familiar with paleo diet principles and wasn’t looking for paleo recipes in particular but I liked this recipe and adapted it to fit my tastes.  Hope you like it too.

Meyer Lemon Curd | Bakewell JunctionThat tiny Meyer Lemon you see in the photos is from my Meyer Lemon tree.  The tree doesn’t give enough fruits that are large enough to make curd, so I had to buy them but doesn’t it look cute?

Meyer Lemon Curd | Bakewell JunctionEnjoy!

Meyer Lemon Curd

Yield:  1.5 cups                 Cook Time:  15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest (zest from at least two Meyer lemons)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 to 2/3 cup honey (I used 2/3 cup to have a sweeter curd; I used local honey); alternatively you could use sugar at about 1/2 cup but that would not be paleo
  • 1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice, freshly squeezed (it took every last bit of 4 Meyer lemons to get this much)
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil or butter (to keep this as a paleo recipe, use grass fed butter)

Step 1:  Remove the zest from the lemons.  If you have a zester, use that to remove the zest.  I don’t have one because it’s just one more gadget that I don’t have room for.  I used my box grater to remove the zest and it worked just fine.  Be sure not to go below the pigmented part of the rind as the white pith is bitter.

Step 2:  Squeeze the juice out of the lemons.  Since I don’t have a juicer, (the gadget thing again) I rolled each lemon on the counter with the palm of my hand to soften it, cut each lemon in half, removed the pits and used a fork poke and twist the lemon center while squeezing every last bit of juice into a measuring cup until I got to 1/2 cup.

Step 3:  Start heating water in a double boiler to simmering.  Since I don’t have a double boiler (yes, the gadget thing again), I heated the water in a medium sauce pan and when I was ready, I placed a medium bowl over the simmering water.  Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl or the top of the double boiler.  Add the honey and lemon zest and whisk to combine.

Step 4:  Place the bowl or top of the double boiler atop the simmering water.  Whisk continually until the mixture becomes lighter and thickens slightly.  Add the lemon juice and coconut oil/butter in tablespoon increments while whisking constantly.  Continue cooking and whisking 5 to 6 minutes until thickened and smooth.  A candy thermometer or instant read thermometer should read 160 degrees.

Step 5:  Remove curd from heat.  Pass curd through a find strainer into another bowl.  There will be quite a bit of solids remaining in the strainer and this is okay.  Store refrigerated 0in glass jars or bowls.

Tips:  Keeps refrigerated for a week.

Enjoy!!!

Recipe adapted from Flavour and Savour, How to Make Paleo Lemon Curd.

This post may also be entered in these linky parties.  Click the here to visit the other great posts in the blog hops.  Entered here also:  savvysouthernstyle.net

Struffoli (Fried Italian Honey Balls)

Struffoli by Bakewell Junction

Struffoli by Bakewell Junction

I have another recipe that you just gotta try.  This recipe is a Neapolitan favorite.  There are similar recipes in other regions of Italy but this is the best.  My husband’s family had a recipe but it just wasn’t quite right, so I was thrilled a few years ago when I found this one.  There are many similarities between this recipe and last week’s post but I always make both because I can’t make just one.

Since this recipe is a little finicky, here are a few detailed tips.

Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and set aside.

Struffoli2 by Bakewell Junction

CuStruffoli3 by Bakewell Junctiont in the butter.

Add the vanilla and the first two eggs.

Struffoli4 by Bakewell Junction

Once combined, then repeat with the next two eggs and again with the last two eggs.

Struffoli5 by Bakewell Junction

Knead dough for 5 minutes and form into a ball.

Struffoli6 by Bakewell Junction

Place the dough on floured cutting board and lightly flour the top.

Struffoli7 by Bakewell Junction

After the dough has rested, begin forming the balls by rolling the 1/2 inch strips and cutting into 1/2 inch balls.

Struffoli8 by Bakewell Junction

A quarter of the dough formed into balls looks like this.

Struffoli9 by Bakewell Junction

After 3/4 of the dough balls have have been formed, begin heating the oil to 375 degrees.  Fry the balls in batches.  To ensure the cookies cook evenly on all sides, I shake the basket to turn them.

Struffoli9 by Bakewell Junction

Just to give you an idea of how much the little balls puff up.

Struffoli11 by Bakewell Junction

Move drained fried balls to a large bowl lined with paper towels.

Struffoli12 by Bakewell Junction

After all the cookies are fried, heat the honey in a medium sauce pan.

Italian Wine Cookies12 by Bakewell Junction

Add the cookies to a rubbermaid container and pour the warm honey over the cookies and turn them to coat.

Struffoli13 by Bakewell Junction

Great for gifts in ziploc containers.

Struffoli14 by Bakewell Junction

Struffoli

Yield:  too many to count                  Cook Time:  90 minutes

Cookies

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or vegetable shortening
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs
  • oil for deep frying (I use olive oil)
  • 40 ounces honey or more to taste, slightly warmed

Decorations

  • Non-pareils
  • White candy coated almonds (Jordan Almonds)

Directions:

Step 1:  Combine sugar, flour and baking powder in a large bowl.  Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in the butter until the butter is completely combined.  Mix in the vanilla.  Mix two eggs at a time.  The batter will look like a very thick cookie dough.

Step 2:  Knead the dough for 5 minutes.  Flour hands when the dough is sticky.  Form the dough into a ball and set the dough on a floured cutting board.  Dust the dough with flour, cover with a clean cloth and let it rest for at least 1/2 hour.

Step 3:  Divide the dough into quarters for easier handling.  Roll each quarter into 1/2 inch logs.  Cut into pieces that are about half of my pinky fingernail or 1/2 inch.  This will make a whole lot of little balls.  Be sure to keep them small as they will grow to 2.5 times the size as they cook.  Repeat with all the remaining dough.

Step 4:  When about 3/4 through forming the dough pieces, heat oil to 375 degrees in a sauce pan or a deep fryer.  I use a cast iron deep fryer with a basket.  Deep fry dough pieces about 2 to 3 dozen at a time depending on space until golden brown and cooked through (this works best if one person rolls the dough and another fries them).  Ensure the cookies are cooked on all sides evenly by shaking the basket to turn them or use a fork.  Place fried cookies in a large bowl lined with paper towels to drain.

Step 5:  Once all the cookies are fried and there is no more dough, transfer them to a large Rubbermaid container.  Heat honey in a sauce pan for at least 5 minutes on medium to high heat until it thins out and is quite warm.  Pour warm honey over fried cookies while they are still warm.  Stir cookies carefully (so they don’t get mashed) to ensure they are all covered with honey.

Step 6:  Place the cover on the container and flip the container upside down.  Repeat flipping the container every 30 minutes or so to ensure the cookies are well coated.  The cookies will soak up most of the honey as they are coated and recoated by flipping the container over and over.  Before serving sprinkle the cookies with hard candy colored balls (nonpareils) for decoration and add the candy coated almonds also.  Try not to eat them all.

Storing:  Store cookies in a sealed plastic container.  The cookies are fine for many days when stored this way.

Enjoy!!!

Recipe from Elodia Rigante’s Italian Immigrant Cooking cookbook.