Saturday, November 24, 2007

Backyard Largesse

As weather reports in some parts of the country bring real chills, the weather here in New Orleans continues to be pleasant. It's too late for figs, but the Meyer lemons are big, juicy and ripe. We have we trees and every year I hunt for yet another way to preserve lemons or juice. Besides giving away lots of lemons, this year I have been experimenting with lemon curd. This stuff is wicked. Try this:

2 cups sugar
8 eggs
2 cups fresh lemon juice, Meyer lemons if they are available
2 sticks butter

Whisk together the eggs and sugar until the eggs are fluffy. (This version does not leave me with lots of extra egg whites.) Mix in the lemon juice and heat over a flame diffuser stirring often. As the mixture begins to thicken, add the butter, a little bit at a time. Continue cooking until the mixture thickly coats a spoon.

This stuff makes a great tart over a crust made of ginger snaps. This curd is not for the meek. It really packs in the lemon flavor and is VERY tart. That's the way I like it.

Since I grow this in the backyard in an urban area, I decided to check into the lead absorption of plants. See the article Lead in the Home Garden to answer your questions.

My backyard is also yielding mirlitons - that's chayote to some of you - and oranges. I'll share more recipes soon.