My sister-in-law owns a citrus orchard with over 40 trees, the oldest of which, according to Jose her knowledgeable neighbour, dates back almost a hundred years! The orchard is a wonderful mix of lemon, orange and tangerine trees, set in a valley bottom in the Axarquia region of Andalucia.
A family holiday in April saw us carefully picking oranges and lemons far from the bells of St Clements. I say carefully as unbeknownst to me, citrus trees carry a hidden hazard. Keen to pluck my first lemon from an actual tree, rather than from a green plastic crate in a supermarket, I plunged my hand into the dense, waxy green foliage and grabbed a fruit, only to find myself writhing in agony as I’d inadvertently impaled my thumb on a two inch thorn sticking from a branch. These beautiful trees do not give up their fruit too easily.
Injuries aside we picked oranges for juicing and I thought I’d have a go at making lemon curd. This is a Nigel Slater recipe, and he mentions the importance of using warm lemons, as they are all the better for juicing. These lemons were warm to the touch as we picked them in the April sunshine.
Lemon Curd Recipe
Zest & juice of 4 lemons
3 eggs & 1 egg yolk
1. Place the lemon zest, juice, sugar & butter (cubed) into a bain-marie. Stir until the butter melts.
2. Mix the eggs & egg yolk lightly and stir into the bain-marie too. Cook, stiring regularly, for ten minutes until you achieve a thick custard-like consistency and it feels heavy on a whisk.
3. Remove from the curd from the heat and stir occasionally as it cools. Pour into 2 jars & seal. The lemon curd keeps in the fridge for up to two weeks.
To read more of Josh Sutton’s work, read his Blog at www.guyropegourmet.com
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The ‘chef’ at Guyrope Gourmet is Josh Sutton a forty something ex hod carrier with a penchant for cooking, camping and writing. He holds a degree in Arabic with Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies and an MA in Professional Housing Studies. He’s been pursued through the desert by the Syrian army and chased out of a one horse town in Louisianna by the local Sheriff. When he’s not writing, blogging, twittering, digging the allotment or generally hawking his wares, he fries fish in a five star fish restaurant. In the field Josh uses: Wheels – 1979 VW camper called ‘Nan the Van’, Tent – Wynster Orion 5, Stoves – Campingaz camping chef & Trangia, Food – as local as possible, Knives – Opinel. Josh has written for: Go Camping magazine, The Foodie Bugle, Regional Review and VW Camper & Commercial. Josh Sutton’s website: www.guyropegourmet.com