Sweet Potato Biscuits

I don’t really know anything about horse racing.  I grew up not far from Saratoga Springs, NY, and we used to go to the track from time to time during racing season.  I never won anything.  (My refined technique of picking the prettiest horse never worked.  I wonder why?)  These days, I am one of the millions of people who only tune into the racing world on Derby Day, or for the Belmont if there is a chance that a horse might win the Triple Crown.  I know who Calvin Borel is, but he’s the only jockey I can name.  It’s safe to say that horse racing is not my sport – although I do love the hats, the roses and the green grass at Churchill Downs.  But if you want to hear me talk intelligently about a sport, ask me about ice hockey, not horse racing.

One thing I do know about, though, is baking.  Different people may disagree on what is necessary for Derby Day.  Some can’t do without Derby Pie; some think the day is incomplete without spiced pecans.  (I think we’d all agree on Mint Juleps, though.)  I personally must have sweet potato biscuits.  You can make these all year ’round, although I think they would also do very nicely for a Southern Thanksgiving celebration.  But I need them on Derby Day.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons Earth Balance (or butter)
1 can sweet potatoes in syrup
1/2 cup soymilk (or buttermilk)

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add the Earth Balance (it must be cold) and “cut it in” using a pastry cutter or two knives.  Work the Earth Balance until the pieces are the size of small peas.  Set aside.
  • Drain the canned sweet potatoes, but not too enthusiastically.  (A little syrup left really adds to the flavor!)  Mash with a fork.  Mix in the soymilk and stir until the soymilk and sweet potatoes are smooth.  Add wet ingredients to dry and mix with hands until dough comes together in a rough/sticky ball.
  • Roll dough or simply pat it into a disk of about 1 inch height.  (It’s so soft that you don’t really need a rolling pin unless, say, you have a lavender silicone French rolling pin that is super cute and you love to use it…)  Using a round biscuit cutter or a small glass (I went with a cordial glass I had lying around, because I actually don’t have a biscuit cutter) cut rounds and place on a silicone- or parchment-lined baking sheet.  Pat the dough scraps back into another disk and continue cutting biscuits and reshaping dough until all the dough is used up.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly and serve with…

Maple Butter

1/2 cup Earth Balance, softened or spreadable
2-3 tablespoons maple syrup

  • Using a fork, mix the Earth Balance vigorously with the maple syrup until they form a whipped consistency.  Serve in a cute bowl alongside the biscuits.

Source: Adapted from TheKitchn

Psst!  I have a secret for you – these biscuits and the maple “butter” are completely vegan!  You can always make them non-vegan by using butter instead of Earth Balance and buttermilk instead of soymilk, but I really encourage you to try the vegan version.  No one will ever guess that they are vegan – and they will be amazed when you tell them.

Cucumber Coolers

If I ever decide to open a spa (instead of a wine bar like I’m currently planning), I’m going to serve these Cucumber Coolers to my clients.  They look and taste like refreshing cocktails, but there’s nothing in them except for whole fruits and veg.  Crisp and clean – does it get better than that?

Cucumber Coolers

1 cup water
1/2 cup mint leaves, packed
1 apple, peeled
1 English cucumber, cut into large chunks
juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon (to taste)
1 cup ice

  • Combine all ingredients, in the above order and starting with the juice of just 1/2 lemon, in VitaMix or ohter high speed blender.  Process until smooth.  Taste and decide if you need to add more lemon juice.  Serve garnished with cucumber rounds.

Source: Covered In Flour

Potato-Leek Frittata

It took me awhile to come around to frittatas, but I have to admit: they might be the perfect brunch food.  They are savory and flavorful at their best, accommodate endless variations, and are delicious at every temperature.  This is the quintessential spring frittata: potatoes, leeks, and well-seasoned eggs that come together in a dish where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  It’s easy, fairly quick, and practically a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.  What better dish to serve on a lazy Sunday morning in spring?

Potato-Leek Frittata

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, cleaned and sliced (white and light green parts only)
2 russet potatoes, cleaned and thinly sliced
6 eggs
2 tablespoons skim milk
pinch salt and pepper
minced chives or freeze-dried chives (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Heat olive oil in a nonstick pan.  Add leeks and season with salt.  Saute until leeks are beginning to soften.
  • Arrange potato slices over leeks in concentric circles.
  • Meanwhile, beat together eggs, milk, salt and pepper.  Pour egg mixture over potatoes and jiggle pan until egg mixture fills in all crevices.  Cook until sides are just beginning to set.  Transfer to oven.
  • Bake 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.  Remove to a serving platter and garnish with chives if desired.  Serve hot, at room temperature, or cool.

Source: Covered In Flour

Minted Fruit Salad

Fruit salad is one of my favorite foods.  Growing up, it always seemed like a special treat to have fresh fruit salad.  Now that I’m an adult (according to the government, anyway), I get to have fruit salad whenever I want… and I want a LOT of fruit salad.  Several mornings a week, I’ll throw together a quickie fruit salad from whatever fresh fruit I happen to have on hand and take it to work to eat for breakfast at my desk.  But this isn’t your run-of-the-mill weekday fruit salad, although it’s almost as easy.  The addition of mint and fresh orange juice really take this salad to the next level and make it perfect for a fresh dessert or celebratory brunch… or even for any spring weekend when you just feel like having something extra special.

Minted Fruit Salad

2 mangoes
2 oranges
1 cup quartered strawberries
2 bananas
1/2 cup mint, roughly chopped

  • Peel and cut mango as follows: slice the cheeks off, being careful not to cut into the pit.  Score into the mango cheeks in a grid.  Pop mango cheeks inside out and carefully cut the pieces out, creating cubes.  Add to mixing bowl.  Repeat with second mango.
  • Segment an orange: cut the tops and bottoms off, then slice the peel off between the pith and the flesh.  Cut between the membranes and pop out orange segments.  Cut each segment in half and add to mixing bowl.  Squeeze the juice from the membranes over the mango and orange segments.  Repeat with second orange.
  • Slice two bananas and add to mixing bowl, along with strawberries and mint.  Carefully toss all together.

Nota Baker: You don’t have to use the fruit I suggested above.  If you happen to have something else knocking around your produce drawer, or you see a particularly good-looking pineapple at the market, by all means, use that.  Just make sure you invite me over to enjoy it with you!

Source: Covered In Flour

Carrot-Mint Juice

Confession time: I don’t like orange juice.  I’ll drink it on a very infrequent basis, when I’m really in the mood, but I am not the one throwing back a glass of Tropicana every morning.  For a long time, I was a “don’t drink your calories” person.  I stuck to water and tea (unsweetened) as my beverages on a daily basis, and wine for a treat.  I still don’t believe in drinking calories in the form of sugary soda, calorie-laden “coffee drinks,” cocktails (okay, I bend this rule occasionally) or sugar-bomb “juices.”

However… I have come to realize that there is a place for getting nutrients through liquids.  I’m talking about healthy whole-fruit smoothies (especially green smoothies) and fresh juices.  I recently got a VitaMix (cue angels singing) and I’ve been blending and juicing my veg-loving heart out.  Here is one of my first creations: a minty fresh carrot juice that’s full of fiber and Vitamin A goodness.  This is nothing but fruits and veggies, mint, and water.  No added sugar, nothing fake.  Just pure carroty goodness.

Carrot-Mint Juice

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup mint leaves, lightly packed
1 apple (such as Golden Delicious), quartered and cored
2-3 medium carrots, chopped into thirds
1 cup ice

  • Place all ingredients in VitaMix in the order they appear in ingredient list.  Start VitaMix on variable speed 1, raise quickly to 10, and then to high.  Blend on high for one minute or until desired consistency is reached.  Makes 3 cups.

Source: Adapted from VitaMix

Banana Crunch Bread

Over the weekend, I got the urge to bake.  That hasn’t happened in awhile, so I went with it.  I pulled some ripe bananas out of the freezer (I have a stash – impressed?) and looked for a fun new banana bread recipe.  I found a recipe for “Banana Crunch Muffins” in the original Barefoot Contessa Cookbook – holy granola, how’d I miss those? – and quickly adapted it to a quickbread and a little healthier (in certain ways) than the original.  I subbed in a cup of whole wheat flour for one of the three cups of all purpose (you can’t even taste it, I promise, and if you want to be even healthier you could bump it up to a cup and a half), and I replaced the butter with applesauce, which is a standard baking move of mine.  Then I cut the sugar almost in half and celebrated my healthiness by adding 3/4 cup of chocolate chips.  BOOYAH!  Just when you think you have me figured out, I go and completely change the game on you.  Don’t even try to keep up!

Just make the bread, okay?

Banana Crunch Bread

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup skim milk
1 cup applesauce
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 cup granola
1 ripe banana, diced

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Spray two loaf pans (or one loaf pan and one mini muffin pan) with baking spray (such as PAM for Baking or Baker’s Joy).  Set aside.
  • Sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Whisk to combine and set aside.
  • In another mixing bowl, combine mashed banana, eggs, vanilla, milk and applesauce.
  • Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until all combined, being careful not to overmix.
  • Fold in chocolate chips, granola, and diced banana.
  • Divide mixture into loaf pans and bake for 60-65* minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  (If you are making one loaf and a batch of mini muffins, bake together for 25 minutes, then remove the mini muffins and continue baking the loaf for another 35-40 minutes.)

*Nota Baker: My oven runs cool, so it took me the full 65 minutes to get my one loaf of banana bread fully cooked, although the mini muffins were out after 25 minutes.  It’s key to know your oven!  Start at the low end of the time range I’ve given and test with a toothpick or cake tester every 5 minutes to see if your loaf is done yet.  Better to babysit the loaf for 10-15 minutes or so at the end of the cooking process than to burn it and waste all those wonderful chocolate chips!

Yield: Two loaves of banana bread or one loaf and one batch of mini muffins.

Source: Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, by Ina Garten (not an Amazon affiliate link)

Also, just for fun… here I am just after running 10 miles!  Do I look thirsty?

Tempeh Hash

I’ve had this post banked for awhile and wasn’t sure I wanted to put it up.  Not because the recipe is bad – it’s most definitely not – but because I’m going to be a bit deeper than I usually am.  Bear with me, because before I get to the recipe for this absolutely divine dish, I’d like to talk a little bit about a subject that I actually spend a lot of time thinking about: vegetarianism.  Now, this isn’t going to be a soapbox kind of post… for the most part, anyway.  So please don’t run away. But I am going to share some opinions.  You have been warned. 

Those of you who know me “in real life” may remember that I was a vegetarian for a few years in college.  Eventually, it became clear to me, for reasons I won’t get into (not everything goes on the blog, peeplz!) that vegetarianism was not an appropriate choice for me at that time in my life.  So I made the decision to add back poultry – but no beef or pork still.  It was a decision that I agonized over, but in the end I decided to do what was best for me.  That was about eight years ago and I’ve been beef- and pork-free ever since, although I do eat fish and poultry.  I’ll cop to occasional moments when I consider trying red meat again, but those moments are few and far between, and they never last very long.  I’ve generally been very happy with my choice to eat poultry, and not to eat beef or pork.  These days, we do fish approximately one night a week, poultry even less (I rarely crave it), and eat veggie the rest of the time – we started with “Meatless Mondays” and just gradually tapered off to eating even less meat, although hubby still has turkey cold cuts at lunch.  When we do have poultry (and eggs and dairy, for that matter), I choose organic for health reasons – because I want hubby and me to be around for a very long time, and I think that nomming lots of chemicals and horomes and pesticides kind of contradicts that goal.  I guess if you want to put a label on what I am now, I’m a flexitarian.  However, I hate labels, and that’s another reason I stopped being a vegetarian.  During a conversation I had on the street with a co-worker the other day, she asked me how I would identify, given my choice to abstain from red meat and to eat only sustainable seafood and humanely-raised, organic poultry and dairy (and that rarely), and I replied, “Um, responsible.” 

Then a stranger tapped me on the shoulder and asked me directions to the nearest Whole Foods.  And I gave them to her.  CRUNCH!  (That was me being a granola-crunching hippie again.  Sorry.)

Okay, so where am I going with this “flexitarian” manifesto?  Well, you know how I said that I think alot about vegetarianism?  What I’m thinking about, specifically, is trying again.  I haven’t made a decision one way or another (so don’t freak out, parents!) but I’m giving it some serious thought.  I know I said that vegetarianism was not appropriate for me when I tried it, and that’s true, and that’s why I went “flexitarian.”  (I gag a little each time I type that… but it’s the easiest way to explain.)  But I’m not sure if that’s because I’m one of those people who are not cut out to be veg (I’ve read that certain blood types are more suited to being veg than others), or if it was just that I didn’t know much of anything about proper vegetarian nutrition when I was 19.  I was basically a Salad Monster.  (Okay, I’m still a Salad Monster, but at least I know what vitamins I’m supposed to have now.)  And no, it’s not easy to get all the nutrients you need if you subsist on salad, chik’n nuggets, and the occasional bowl of dining hall pasta.  (College!  Woot woot!)  These days, I eat a lot more beans, tofu, and other protein-rich veggie staples, because now I actually know how to cook.  And what a difference that makes…

So why am I considering trying vegetarianism again?  After all, I’m pretty happy with things the way they are.  I like chicken, I like eating turkey on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I really enjoy a lobster or steamed crabs or sole Meuniere.  I’m not sure I’m ready to commit to being a hardcore veggie, but it’s something on my radar screen and hey, this blog is about the food on my radar screen.  As I have become more aware of food and nutrition, I have some serious concerns about the way our current agriculture system taxes the environment and our health.  I am worried about the legacy that I will leave my (as of yet, non-existent) children.  I am concerned about the tremendous amount of resources it takes to supply this country’s meat demands on a daily basis.  I am really worried about chemicals and horomones and antibiotics getting into my system and the systems of the people I care about (yes, even though I choose organic wherever possible).  I worry about the effect that our country’s insatiable desire for meat has on me and my family.  (I do also care about animal welfare.  But my main motivating factor is health.  If yours is different, that’s cool too.)

So, what about this hash?  This hash perfectly illustrates why I didn’t make it as a vegetarian in college.  It’s made with tempeh, which is basically fermented soy beans.  In college, I had no idea that tempeh even existed.  I didn’t hear about it until just a few years ago, and I never bothered to try it until this year.  What a waste!  Tempeh is quickly becoming a staple in my house – hubs loves it too – and it’s a great way to round out a meatless meal with protein.  If I had known about tempeh, would it have kept me a vegetarian?  I’m not sure.  But it would’ve been a start.  I don’t know where I’m going with all of this, except to say that I’m giving serious thought to the way that I eat and feed the hubs – even more than usual.  And here’s a yummy recipe for you, if you made it this far.

Tempeh Hash

extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt
1 medium yellow or white onion, cut in small dice
3 medium red potatoes, cut in small dice
3 carrots, cut in small dice
1 package tempeh (any flavor, but I like garden veg), crumbled
soy sauce
sesame oil

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onions, season with salt, and saute until onions are translucent and beginning to turn golden.
  • Add potatoes and carrots and saute until softened and beginning to form a golden brown crust, about 15 minutes.
  • Crumble tempeh over mix and saute another 5 minutes, until heated through and crispy.  Season with soy sauce (a few shakes), sesame oil (go easy, this is strong stuff), and pepper to taste.
  • Serve, if desired, with a sunny-side-up egg on top.  YUM!

Source: Adapted from How To Cook Everything Vegetarian

Note: This post is about my personal food journey and choices.  First of all, no, hubby will not be going vegetarian – even if I do – this is something that he does not want to do at this time, and I honor his choices just as he honors mine.  He does eat “flexitarian” with me, mostly because I’m the cook in the house.  But he can and does have meat – including red meat – whenever he wants it.  I’m no militant.  Second, my journey and choices probably differ from yours.  Everyone has their own story and their own reasons for their decisions.  So if you choose to leave a comment about this post, please do be respectful.  I’d love to hear about your personal food story – what you choose to eat and not to eat, and why.  But please don’t knock my choices; remember they are my choices.  Mangia!

Blueberry Coffeecake Muffins

It felt like a long wait – in fact, it probably felt even longer to the hubs than it did to me – but after two weeks of unpacking and organizing frenzies, I finally had the energy to pull out my favorite stainless steel mixing bowl (it belonged to my mom before I talked her into giving it to me, it’s older than me and still gorgeous) and my best wooden spoon and dusted myself with a cloud of flour.  For my first messy baking in the new house, I decided to make muffins.  My parents were sleeping in the guest bedroom upstairs and I wanted them to wake up to delicious aromas wafting up from the kitchen.  (It didn’t hurt that I was up early enough to be dressed and ready for church with these muffins cooling on the countertop and a perfectly clean kitchen waiting for them when they got downstairs.  I love when I look like I have it all together!)

I wanted to do something a little creative, both to impress the parentals and also just because it had been weeks since I’d baked anything and I was itchy.  So I picked coffeecake muffins out of Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook and did a little editing of my own.  The original recipe called for plums, but it’s obviously not plum season so I substituted frozen blueberries to great effect.  And, because I love the flavors of berries and almond together, I switched out the vanilla extract for almond extract.  You can certainly use vanilla, but the almond extract gave the muffins a wonderful, subtle almond flavor that worked very well with the blueberries.  Oh, and I also cheated a bit – instead of making my own cinnamon sugar, I used my cinnamon sugar blend from Penzey’s.  Martha would probably be mad at me, but whatevs.  I still felt like I was on top of my game (for once) and that’s what counts, right?

Blueberry Coffeecake Muffins

1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of ground nutmeg
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon almond extract (or sub vanilla)
3/4 cup milk
1 pint blueberries, washed
cinnamon sugar

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare a muffin tin with liners or by greasing it with a cooking spray that includes flour (such as PAM for Baking or Baker’s Joy).
  • Whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and sugar – in a large bowl.  Set aside.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the melted butter, eggs, almond extract and milk.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold together with a silicone spatula or rubber spoon.
  • Fill the muffin cups halfway with batter – you should have plenty of batter left over.  Drop several blueberries atop each pile of batter.  Spoon remaining batter over the blueberries – but don’t cover them completely!  The blueberries are so cute peeking out of the muffins!  Sprinkle each muffin with cinnamon sugar.
  • Bake 18-20 minutes, until muffins are golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean (or as clean as it can, since you’re dealing with cooked fruit here).  Cool on a wire rack for several minutes and serve warm.

Yield: Martha’s recipe says you get 10 muffins from this, but she must be using a bigger muffin tin than I am, because I got 12.

Source: Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

Whole Grain Apple-Cinnamon Muffins

I have a compulsion: I will almost always buy apples at the store, whether we need them or not.  I’ve been known to have three almost-full bags of apples knocking around my crisper drawer, because for some reason I just can’t stop myself from buying them at the grocery store.  It’s as if some unconscious part of me takes over in the produce section and says, “Mmmm, apples!  Delicious!” and just throws them in the cart without me having any control over it.  (That also happens with cucumbers.)  They are our standby lunch fruit, so we’ll go through 5-10 apples a week just by putting them in lunches (depending on if there are also grapes in the house, in which case I will take those for myself…) but we always, always seem to have extra apples.  I don’t know if they multiply in the fridge or what, but it seems to take forever to get through a bag and I invariably have leftovers at the end of the week.  When I am actually thinking intelligently about my grocery shopping, I will either restrain myself from buying apples or figure out some way to use up my extras – like turkey cutlets with sauteed apples and onions for dinner one night, or these muffins.

Ah, muffins.  Who doesn’t love muffins?  They are tasty, easy, and they have the cutest! name! ever!  But most of the time, they are also laden with butterfat and nutritionally void calories.  I try to make muffins at least somewhat nutritious by using whole grains, like rolled oats, along with whole wheat flour, and adding some flaxseed meal for the Omega-3s.  Tossing in a little fresh fruit can’t hurt, either.  And that’s where the apples come in… a relatively nutritious muffin, and an opportunity to use up some of those extra apples that are taking up half my crisper drawer?  That’s a very nice way to wake up on a weekend morning.

Whole Grain Apple-Cinnamon Muffins

1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour*
2/3 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup ground flaxseed meal
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup skim milk
8 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2 large (preferably organic) eggs
1/3 cup honey
3 medium apples, large-diced

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin by spraying the wells with a baking spray (like Pam for Baking or Baker’s Joy), or by lining with paper or silicone muffin liners.
  • Combine the dry ingredients – flour, oats, flaxseed meal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon – in a large bowl and whisk together.
  • In a smaller bowl, combine the milk, applesauce, eggs and honey, and stir to combine.
  • Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Stir in the diced apple pieces.  Portion batter equally into muffin wells.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffins comes out clean.

*The whole wheat flour actually adds to the taste of these muffins, so I encourage you to stick with it.  If you simply don’t like the taste, you can substitute white whole wheat flour, which is much milder but retains the same nutritional benefits as regular whole wheat, or even all-purpose flour, which is less nutritious.  Whole wheat flour also gives the muffins a somewhat denser crumb than you would get with all-purpose flour, but again, I think it works well with the apple pieces.  Certainly, you can substitute some of all of it, but please do give it a try!

Yield: 12 muffins.

Source: Covered In Flour

Grapefruit Curd

Citrus is one of my all-time favorite flavors, and grapefruit is right up there with limes and Meyer lemons fighting for top billing as my favorite citrus.  I’ve been a fan of grapefruit since college.  We always had them in my sorority house, and I got to the point where I would be grouchy if I didn’t start the day with grapefruit.  I even took to packing grapefruits in my lunch and eating them like oranges, until my friend Amy staged an intervention.

I’m serious.

Yes, I’m serious about citrus and I’m serious about grapefruit.  You see, I grew up and went to college in a region of the country where citrus was about the only taste of sunshine we got in the winter, off the ski slopes, that is.  Since I’ve started cooking, I’ve made many citrus recipes, some including grapefruit – grapefruit and fennel salad, for instance, or roasted halibut with grapefruit-mint salsa.  So I’m shocked that it took me until now to consider making grapefruit curd.  After all, I love lemon curd and lime curd.  Once the thought occurred to me – call it the mid-winter doldrums, but I needed some citrus in my life this weekend – I did some sniffing around and found that my gal Martha has a recipe for grapefruit curd.  Apparently grape minds think alike! 

Grapefruit Curd

1/4 cup fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
1 cup granulated sugar
pinch salt
8 egg yolks
1 1/4 sticks butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces

  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine grapefruit juice, sugar and salt.  Whisk to blend evenly.
  • Heat the grapefruit-sugar mixture over medium-high heat, stirring in the egg yolks one at a time with a wooden spoon.  Continue stirring for 8 minutes, until mixture has thickened slightly.  (Work the spoon slowly; you don’t want to scramble the eggs.  Odds are you will have little eggy bits.  Don’t worry about this – we’re going to deal with it in a minute.)
  • Take the pan off the heat.  Working one piece at a time, melt the butter into the curd.
  • Pass curd through a fine mesh sieve to remove any eggy bits (See?  I told you we’d deal with them).  Decant into a glass jar or container for storage.  Allow curd to rest in the fridge for 2-3 hours, until set.  Serve on scones, toast, meringues, over ice cream… you name it.

Source: adapted from Martha Stewart‘s Baking Handbook, by Martha Stewart

Nota Baker: Curd is a fantastic candidate for canning.  These instructions assume that you are going to keep the curd in the refrigerator and consume it within a few days.  If you intend to can… well, I can’t help you with that.  I currently do not have room in my kitchen for the canning apparatus.  Don’t worry, I’m working on that problem and you’ll see canning recipes on here before too long (I hope).