With the longer days and warmer weather the garden’s finally taking off and that means busy days on in urban homestead’s kitchen.
The grapes vines are full of light green leaves, perfect for preserving in anticipation of a summertime filled with platters of stuffed grape leaves.
1 qt Whole grape leaves
2 tsp Salt in: 1 qt Water
1 cup Bottled lemon juice
Bring salted water to a boil. Add washed grape leaves and blanch for 30 seconds. Drain. Form into loose rolls and stand them up in pint canning jars. Add lemon juice or citric acid to the second quart of water and bring to a boil. Fill jars within 1/2 inch of top with the hot mixture. Seal.Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
What to do with lots of duck eggs and a neighbor’s lemon tree that’s loaded with these tart delights. Lemon curd, of course.
Lemon Curd Recipe
3 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons) (do not use the bottled lemon juice)
1 tablespoon finely shredded lemon zest
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into small pieces
Note: Room temperature lemons provide more juice. After squeezing, strain the juice to remove any pulp. Zest is the yellow, sweet-flavored outer rind of the lemon. A zester or fine grater can be used to remove the rind. Cold lemons are much easier to grate. Grate lemons just before using as the zest will lose moisture if it sits too long. In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended. Cook, stirring constantly (to prevent it from curdling), until the mixture becomes thick (like sour cream or a hollandaise sauce) (160 degrees F or 71 degrees C). This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the lemon zest and let cool. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Cover immediately (so a skin doesn’t form) and refrigerate for up to a week.Makes 1 1/2 cups