Monday, 11 August 2014

Oranges and Lemons

Well actually just lemons but the nursery rhyme comes to mind so let's briefly go back to childhood!

Oranges and lemons,
Say the bells of St. Clement's.

You owe me five farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin's.

When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.

When I grow rich,
Say the bells of Shoreditch.

When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney.

I do not know,
Says the great bell of Bow.

Anyway enough of that! My friend who is a wonderful 'hunter gatherer' gave me some lemons from her loaded trees when I was in Adelaide en route to the Flinders Ranges a few weeks ago and I bustled home to make Lemon Cordial and Preserved Lemons. Then my neighbours had lemons falling off their overladen trees so off I went and gathered up another load then it was home to make more Lemon Cordial and Preserved Lemons and some delicious Lemon Curd. Here are the recipes as lemons are so abundant at this time of the year. 
A load of lemons awaiting .....

6 lemons, grated rind and juice 
50 g tartaric acid
25 g citric acid
1.2 litres boiling water
1 kg sugar
  • Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved (about 5 minutes) 
  • Pour into hot sterilised botles then seal and cool. 
100 g butter
5 free-range eggs
145 g castor sugar
2.5 lemons
  • Roughly chop butter and melt over low hear in medium saucepan then leave to cool.
  • Place the eggs, sugar, juice of lemons and zest of one in a small bowl. 
  • Beat until well combined. 
  • Add to the butter and stir constantly over low/medium heat until thick (about 4-5 minutes)
  • Remove from heat and wiz with blender for a minute or two (I didn't bother with this).
  • Store in sterilised jars in the fridge (makes about 2 cups)
Still warm - rather washed out looking lemon curd - divine
6 lemons
coarse sea salt
bay leaves 
lemon juice
olive oil
  • Wash and scrub the lemons. Cut into quarters. Place lemons in the freezer for 4 hours until firm. Remove from freezer and thaw (this softens the rind)
  • Place in sterilised jar stuffing as much salt as you can between the lemons 
  • Layer with peppercorns and bayleaves as you go
  • Top up with sea salt
  • Pour over lemon juice to cover and top with a layer of olive oil
  • Seal and store in a dark place for a week - then they'll be ready to use
  • Store in fridge once opened
A recycled jar and bottle - or three or more - cordial and Moroccan lemons
Hunter gathering is fun. Perhaps its my Scottish blood - something for nothing (except for the added ingredients) and in recycled jars as well.  Oh - and it's deeply satisfying. So now you owe me five farthings (say the bells of St Martin's!)

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