Monday, 28 February 2011

A Good Egg Recipe

Thank you Church Farm, Ardeley (see the 'More than a Box' Scheme blog) for the free box of eggs given out this week.  Our neighbour loved the freebie but that still leaves us with twelve eggs to consume!

So here's a simple recipe I recommend to transform eggs into a delicious, fruity curd, courtesy Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in the Guardian.  The one below uses seasonal Seville oranges but these could easily be substituted by an equivalent amount of lemon juice, from say, four large lemons. 

The big problem with curd is... the curdling of the eggs (the clue is in the name).  I followed instructions and whisked the curd mixture in a pot of simmering water with no mishaps.  But you are allowed to cheat by adding two teaspoons of corn flour to the butter and sugar mixture, before you whisk in the eggs. 

Although the sugar thermometer was useful, I found noting the viscosity of the curd was just as good a guide; as ever the coating of the wooden spoon never seems to happen for me.  And finally, some recipes sieve the whole mixture into the jars but I go along with Hugh's reciple and rather like retaining the little bits of zest.  (You can probably spot them in the photo below.)

As the recipe says, the curd will keep in the fridge for three to four weeks, although I have read elsewhere, you can extend that to six weeks. That's still quite a lot to eat! I found the recipe made enough for two large (454g) jars, but you could easily make one large and two small to give away to your friendly neighbours.

Seville orange curd

An easy, tangy curd that's as delicious spread on toast as it is spread thickly in the middle of a Victoria sandwich. Makes about three 240ml jars.
200ml Seville orange juice (ie from about 3 oranges), strained
Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed navel orange
125g unsalted butter
400g granulated sugar
2 whole eggs plus 2 yolks, well beaten
Put the juice, zest, butter and sugar in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl over a pan of just-simmering water. As soon as the butter has melted, and the mixture is hot and glossy, pour in the beaten eggs through a sieve and whisk with a balloon whisk. Stir the mixture over a gentle heat until it's thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 12-15 minutes – a sugar thermometer should read 82-84C . Pour immediately into warm, sterilised jars and seal. Use within three or four weeks, and keep in the fridge once opened..

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