Lovely {Lemon} Curd

Following a series of posts on my other blog I wrote on the idea of 'when life gives you lemons'.... and upon discovering an weekly organic market in the nearby town of Honfleur--I suddenly had about 20 small and sweet lemons that were crying out to be made into .....

Lemon-curd of course!  I fell in love with this sweet/sour/creamy 'confiture' when traveling in Great Britain after college .... on toast, on a slice of warm pound-cake...

And now I am completely addicted to having it sandwiched between two puffy meringues... a match made in heaven of course--one recipe requires 10 egg yolks and the other--the whites!

Here is the very simple method to make lemon-curd, and then I will post shortly after the recipe to make the lemon-meringue's!

Lemon Curd 

{Recipe inspired by Linda Ferrari's book 'Canning and Preserving'}

Zest of 4 lemons
1 1/2 cups lemon juice
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
10 egg yolks

 Put all ingredients in a stainless steel mixing bowl and whisk over a pot of simmering water.  This recipe took about 40 minutes of constant whisking while it thickened--which was fine--I surfed the web for the meringue recipe and did a lot of tasting while it cooked!

Once it is thick and starts to 'gel'  you remove it from the heat and stir a few more times to test the thickness as it cools.  Fill a clean, warmed jar with the curd and let it cool completely.

I have heard it can last for 2 weeks to a month in the fridge--but I would have no idea about that!  Ours seems to disappear in a matter of days!

The tangy sweet flavor is 100% sunshine.... which apparently was much needed on that day as my sweet KC Spaniel found the one and only sun-spot in the entire house while I was making it!

Stay tuned for the recipe for the meringues! I will be back with that ASAP!

A bientot!

Back to school means .....

It's official!  We have begun 'la rentrĂ©e'.... which means back-to-school, and it is only a matter of time before I gain many more hours to do the things I love.  All 3564 of them... more or less.  

Summer is ending, Fall is sneaking in, the air is already changing.

After finding an absolutely fantastic 'bio' market last week in Honfleur and buying 4 kilos of plums ('Mirabelle' and 'Blanche')  I spent the afternoon making two batches of 'confiture'.

I won't post a recipe.  There are 100's, make that 1000's of jam and jelly recipes on the web and I go by instinct; 2 kilos of fruit, 3 cups of sugar and keeping the pits and skins on during the boiling period for the natural pectin.

 To the 'Mrabelle' batch I also added orange zest and a touch of cinnamon.

The 'prune blanche' were actually very green!  Such a gorgeous color before cooking.  Nothing extra added to that batch--they are wonderfully sweet and a tiny bit tart!

Tomorrow I head out to that same market in search of figs!  I hope I am not too late!

Looking forward to the new cooking season--the change of climate--and many, many more uninterupted hours in the kitchen and/or behind the camera!

Oh well!  A girl can dream!  A bientot!

{Had to Have} Double Chocolate Brownies

For I don't know how long ... I have had this crazy persistent craving for warm melt-y decadent chocolate brownies with pistachio ice cream!  I finally gave into it last night and made big batch of really indulgent goodness!  I convinced myself that I did this for two reasons--one, it was the first day of September and nothing feels more like the official ending of summer than September arriving! --and second, 'les garcons' are returning to school next week and I thought they deserved a little comfort food on their last official weekend of summer 'vacances'.

Truthfully, yes.  We all know that it was more about me and what I wanted... and I had to have these!  They turned out amazing and I have to tell you that nothing fills a kitchen in a better way on a cool first-of-September Saturday evening than the smell on melting chocolate!

A few things make these brownies a little more 'to-die-for'....  I used almond flour which give a wonderful gooey and rich texture, I add orange-dark-chocolate chunks and for moisture and even more richness, I use creamy coco-nut milk.  So yes, these are both wheat/gluten free and dairy free.

Double Chocolate {Chunk} Brownies

2 cups almond meal/flour
1 cup whole grain rice flour
1 1/2 cups 'blonde' sugar (unrefined or light brown)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup pure unsweetened coco-powder
3 eggs
3/4 cup butter or dairy free margarine, melted
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 cup ( or 1 large bar broken into pieces) chopped dark chocolate, I used dark chocolate with orange!

I find with brownies, they are made to be unfussy.  I literally do every thing in one bowl, blending with an electric hand mixer as I go along.  I added most of the chopped chocolate chunks to the batter and then sprinkled the rest to melt on top and I used both a round cake form and a few small cup-cake cups made of silicon to cook the brownies.  

Bake at 350 F degrees or around 180 C degrees for just under 30 minutes or until they are firm but still slightly gooey! 

These days I am a big fan of pistachio ice-cream...but French Guy is allergic to pistachios so he had his brownie with creme-caramel.

Delish!  Satisfied the craving perfectly!  Try it and see!