A Lemon Meringue Pie, a Tarte au Citron or Scones with Lemon Curd: tasty, refreshing, bitter, sour, a bit sharp and sweet. We love it! Provided of course that the lemon is more than just juicy and sour.
This has been a bit of an issue over the past years. Similar to the German consumers who complained about the watery and flavourless Dutch tomatoes they bought around 1990, we think that most lemons lack aroma and taste. We tried limes, bought more expensive lemons, added a bit of yuzu, but in the end, we still missed the true taste and aroma of an old-fashioned lemon.
Until one day we bought a Bergamot lemon. Its aroma is intense, floral and long. The juice is sour, deeply citrusy, refreshing and bright. Exactly what we were looking for! We went home and prepared a lovely curd.
Recently we had a similar experience when we visited a dear friend. She grows a Kaffir Lime tree, also known as Makrut Lime, in her garden mainly because she wants to use the fresh leaves in Thai and Indonesian dishes such as Tom Yum, Soto Ayam and various curries. The leaves have a complex citrus flavour with floral notes. We talked about the lovely yellow fruit and how you could use its very aromatic zest as well.
The fruit contains little juice, so when preparing a curd with Kaffir limes, you need to add lime, Bergamot or lemon juice.
What You Need
- 65 ml of Lemon, Lime, Bergamot and/or Kaffir Lime Juice
- 65 grams of Butter
- 100 grams of Sugar
- One Egg
What You Do
Beat the egg, melt the butter and combine all ingredients. Make sure the sugar is dissolved. Cook Au Bain Marie until you have the right consistency. Or transfer to your microwave, put it on 50% or 70% power and heat with intervals of 20-30 seconds. Mix between the intervals. This is a very precise way of heating the mixture and it gives you full control over the process. Towards the end of the process you may want to reduce the power or shorten the intervals. The percentage and the duration of the intervals depend on your microwave and the bowl you use. We use a microwave saucepan (£1,29 only) and it works perfectly. The material doesn’t absorb warmth, so the mixture doesn’t get extra heated when you stop the microwave. Pass through a sieve (you don’t want the zest in the curd), cool in a water bassin and store in a jar.
The curd keeps for a week in the refrigerator .
Around 1992 a German television program characterised the Dutch tomatoes as watery and tasteless, and called them ‘wasserbombe’. The short-term impact was enormous: the Dutch tomato went from 50% market share in Germany to something close to zero. Longer term the impact was very different: Dutch producers invested in their product, making their tomatoes tastier, richer and more diverse.