Lemon Curd in the Microwave in Under Three Minutes

I never really intended to write a food blog but my curiosity gets the best of me.   I never knew a Kitchen Hack I didn’t like.

On the other hand, if I search for this particular food, I find the Microwave version first.  I guess I’ve just been hiding away from the world too long!

Lemon Curd is an English confection that the closest thing we have in America is the filling for a Lemon Meringue Pie.

But it’s much more creamy and silky than that.

It also takes about 1/2 hour of standing by a stove babying it and making sure it does not boil on a medium to low heat.

This cooks in the microwave in under 3 minutes.

Yes.  It took me 2:45 to get it done.

The hardest part is making absolutely certain that your thermometer is reasonably accurate.  Mine was not, and read 10F high, so the Lemon Curd came out a little loose.

Oh, and I made mine in a recycle-able plastic Cottage Cheese container, then poured it into a jelly sized Mason Jar for storage.

Use within a couple weeks – that’s why I cut down the recipe in 1/2.

This all hit the web a couple weeks back as a Kitchen Hack, I tried it, and yeah, it works.  It turns a fiddly recipe into something anyone can make in under 10 minutes if you’re quick about it.

On a Bagel, English Muffin, or Home Made Crumpet, this stuff can’t be beat especially if you have cream cheese to go with it all.    I use this Lemon Curd for Lemon Tarts as well.  If you have a ready made pie shell, just dump the Lemon Curd in, and top with some whipped cream or perhaps prepare a meringue for it.

Oh and of the Variations I have tried – Key Lime or Grapefruit are my personal favorites.

Ingredients for this are 1/2 of my original recipe but I will repeat them here, adjusted for size.

  • 1 1/2 Lemons, Zested and Juiced (About a quarter cup juice)
  • 3/4 cup (170g) granulated Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter (2 Ounces, 60g)  – Room Temperature and cut into small pieces

Process

  • To a microwave safe bowl, add all your ingredients.
  • Stir the ingredients until smooth or run them through a blender.
  • Place Microwave Safe bowl in microwave and cook on High for 30 seconds.
  • Stir ingredients thoroughly to prevent hot spots.
  • Repeat the microwave and stir cycle until the temperature at least reaches 185F (85C).
  • The Lemon Curd will begin to noticeably thicken when you reach temperature.
  • Again, Do not allow to boil but make sure you hit that magic temperature of 185F/85C.
  • Pour the finished product into jars and refrigerate or run through strainer to capture any lemon zest or egg that might cause lumps.

Picture from wikipedia shows how it will look close up and personal!

Lemon Curd courtesy of wikipedia.com
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Crumpets and a Simplified Recipe

 If you write, everyone has their complaints and comments.

If you write about anything that has measurements, and are writing from one of the three Non-Metric countries, you will get some crank somewhere complaining about “You Should Use Metric”.

First, shut up.  You are being pointlessly rude.  Blog writers have no control over the government.  I wish we did.

Second in this case, this recipe is easier using Imperial Measurements.  “For Round Numbers.”

Actually, that’s not completely true, this recipe boils down to a bunch of ratios.  And of course the ratios are forgiving and flexible.  Since the local conditions may effect how much fluids your recipe will “take up”, you may add a little more or a little less the next time you try this.  For us, today, in a dehydrated house in Florida’s Dry Season, 14 to 10 was fine.  If you think that someone in a farmhouse in the 1700s used 2% milk instead of raw whole milk you just may need to relax a bit.

Crumpets.  The first time it was written down, that we know of, the recipe appeared in a cookbook in 1769.  Metric was not invented, and cooking was simpler back then.  No refrigeration, “critters” were in the house, measuring was a “guess”, and so on.

You have so much of this, you add double that amount to it and a spoonful of a third ingredient, and you are done.  Cook until it looks right.

That’s this recipe.

As for why the US does not use Metric?  We do, legally.  All “our” measurements are defined in Metric anyway.

The reason was that back when the French offered us an Official Kilogram the first time in the very early days of the Republic, the Official Kilogram was stolen by Pirates, and by the time we could get another one, it was deemed too late to get everyone to switch.

Seriously.  Pirates.  They must have thought that the ship was carrying Spanish Gold Doubloons and they got a Kilogram.  Probably made of brass.  Yarrrr!

 

Another case of the French helping out the United States that the people should realize here just how good a friend they have been throughout our history.

 

Thank you, France.

 

This recipe is all about Ratios. It also comes in two parts.  The yeast mixture, and the ratio of Flour to Fluid.

 

Simple:

 

  • Yeast and Salt – 1 Teaspoon.  I used a common one to measure.
  • Sugar – 2 Teaspoons.  Literally right out of the drawer.

 

  • Flour 10 parts
  • Water 7 parts
  • Milk 7 parts.

Now to codify this a bit to a proper recipe:

Ingredients

  • Yeast – 1 Teaspoon or about 5 Ml
  • Salt – 1 Teaspoon or about 5 Ml
  • Sugar – 2 Teaspoons or about 10 Ml

 

  • Flour – 10 ounces or about 283 Grams
  • Water – 7 ounces or about 198 Grams
  • Milk – 7 ounces or about 198 Grams

Process:

  • Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl except the Flour.
  • Whisk the Flour into the mixture slowly until you have a smooth loose batter.
  • Cover the batter with a towel and allow to double in size and there are bubbles forming.

Cooking:

  • Preheat your griddle to about 350F/175C.
  • Generously grease the griddle with butter or oil if you prefer.
  • If your griddle begins to smoke, reduce temperature.
  • Generously grease the Crumpet Rings, if you use them, with butter and place on griddle to warm.
  • Add batter to the middle of the Crumpet rings until they are filled side to side but do not overfill vertically.  About half way up the Crumpet ring for a Crumpet.  Thicker Crumpets won’t bubble as well but will produce a slice-able English Muffin.
  • Cook Crumpets until they begin to bubble, then wait until the tops are rubbery and perhaps dry to the touch.
  • Remove each Crumpet from their ring gently, and flip it to the uncooked side.
  • Cook until they begin to brown.

Homemade Bisquik Substitute and Biscuits

Updated.  Please note that this recipe does work, but the next step of making it into biscuits can be wrong if you aren’t careful with how much of each ingredient you use.  It’s easy to slip.  I did.

 

I got into a bind.  We had just come home from shopping and I meant to get bisquick.

I wanted it in the house so I could make biscuits.

I have two recipes.

One is on here as my Cream Biscuit recipe, and it usually tastes more rich.  They should since they are loaded with whipping cream.  I can hear a proper Southern Woman saying, of course, honey, y’all have to have fat in your biscuits.  She would want me to try it with ice cold butter and cutting it in and …

Nah, too complex.  The cream biscuits are really quite good.

The other one is using Bisquick.  (Little R in a circle, trademark of General Mills and Betty Crocker and …so on).  Bisquick is fine, and it’s a fine product, but we just don’t use it enough to keep it here enough that I get good and reproducible results.

It’s two parts Bisquick to one part milk, bake at 450 for about 10 minutes or until done.

But… how hard can it be to make your own mix like a substitute for Bisquick?

Turns out that it is not hard at all.  And this is a small quantity so you can double, triple, or whatever the upscale factor is that you need.

This is enough to make 5 biscuits.  Just add 4.4 ounces of milk – 125 grams.  Bake at 450F for 10 minutes or until done.  Update – be careful here.  Just because some idiot blog writer says 125g/4.4 ounces doesn’t mean it is right.  A Biscuit batter should be rather sticky but will hold a ball shape.  It will fight leaving a spoon or a hand and not be dry.

(Where did I hear that before?)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter – At Room Temp or Partially Melted

Process:

  • Add the first three ingredients to a mixing bowl dry.
  • Blend the ingredients somewhat.
  • Add butter and mix until the mixture is even and lumps are gone.

To use for biscuits, add 4.4 ounces or 125 grams of cold milk to the bowl.  Update – be careful here.  Just because some idiot blog writer says 125g/4.4 ounces doesn’t mean it is right.  A Biscuit batter should be rather sticky but will hold a ball shape.  It will fight leaving a spoon or a hand and not be dry.

Mix until somewhat blended but do not over mix.

The mix should be sticky.

Bake at 450F for 10 plus minutes or until done.

May be doubled, add extra butter, or smother with sausage gravy.

 

After all, 5 lonely biscuits won’t really last you long will they?

Dry Barbecue Potato Chip Seasoning Recipe

Barbecue Potato Chips.

I was the weird kid that really truly enjoyed these.  I learned early that the Redder The Better because there was more flavor on them.

So I went looking, found lots of recipes on how to make this, and ended up tweaking to get this recipe.

It’s the powder that you sprinkle on potato chips to turn them into BBQ Chips after putting it in the oven.

I have been dipping tortilla chips into it and knocking off the “excess” the last couple days and, Yeah!, pretty darn good too!

This is a smallish recipe, and can be scaled up easily if you find you like it.

I bet it could also go into a cheese shaker or a salt shaker for use as a condiment on the table.

I know I like this on a baked potato, and the little bit I need isn’t enough for me to worry about the calorie count, or whatever else is in it.

Yes, there is salt and brown sugar in the recipe.  Depending on how you use it, it’s possible that the salt can be left out.

You know… season to taste?  Especially good on bland foods.

 

Oh one last thing that I noticed when I put that pic together?  It’s a great way to use up your old or out of date spices.  If you look at that pic really closely… you will notice that the date stamped on top of the Onion Powder is 2013.  It’s now 2017.

Oops!

Dry Barbecue Potato Chip Seasoning Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon packed brown sugar (I used Dark)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

To Prepare:

Mix everything in a jar thoroughly.

To Use:

Dust the surface of the food to taste after cooking.

Popcorn Peanut Brittle with Chocolate Chips

I got hungry.  This happened.  Tasty too!

Actually this had been in the back of my mind.  Something similar to any one of dozens of commercial Popcorn Peanut Toffee candies.

And boy is it good.  Just be careful, it’s not exactly a light dessert.

I followed my own recipe for Peanut Brittle, then poured it over some pre-popped popcorn.  But in case you want a recipe, here goes.

Popcorn:

  • Get a cookie sheet and line with Parchment Paper or Foil.
  • Lightly grease it.  (Optional).
  • Pop one bag of microwave popcorn or loose popcorn to cover the cookie sheet one layer deep.
  • Put the popcorn on to your cookie sheet.
  • Add two ounces of chocolate chips to the top of the popcorn, evenly.

Next:  Make Brittle.

Full recipe is at this link, but I will repeat it here after the process for this step.

4 ounces of cleaned and skinless nuts.  I used unsalted peanuts.

2 ounces/4 tablespoons of butter at room temperature and sliced into thin pieces.

1 cup of sugar.

2 ounces of water.

 

  • To a cold 2 quart saucepan, add the sugar and water.
  • Stir the ingredients to mix.
  • Turn on heat Medium High to High.
  • Boil until the mix turns “toffee colored”
  • Add the nuts, stir, and count to ten.
  • Add butter.  The butter will boil immediately.  Stir
  • Remove from heat and pour over the popcorn mix.

Serve:  Allow to cool fully, break into Bite Sized Pieces.

Oh! and all of it is 1400 calories plus your popcorn calories.

Peanut Brittle Recipe – One of the easiest I have found

 

Peanut Brittle.  It’s basically a butter toffee that peanuts or some other nut is poured into and allowed to cool.  The nuts are cooked and come out slightly softer.

I usually make this with Pecans since we can get them cheap, and they have a stronger flavor.

Most recipes have a couple of steps.  This one only has two.

This recipe does not use baking soda for leavening.  When you add the ROOM TEMPERATURE butter to the candy, it will almost instantly boil creating bubbles that will add volume and make it easier to eat.

If you prefer a thinner candy, wait a few seconds, and the bubbles will die down.

This also works if you switch the nuts out for about an ounce (28 Grams) of lightly chopped roasted coffee beans.  If you use Espresso Grind coffee, you end up with a smoother texture.

I will say that the taste with Espresso is very reminiscent of a specific Japanese candy that I can very rarely find.  They look like a toffee but are very dark brown and taste like a sweet coffee or a Cuban coffee.  Hard to find here in South Florida, so when I discovered this, it was a special treat.

It’s all up to you.

As for calories?  It’s candy for crying out loud:

1 Cup Sugar = 774 Calories

4 ounces unsalted roasted peanuts =  426 Calories

1 ounce Butter = 200 Calories

Total = 1400 calories.

Yes, that is the full recipe calorie count.  If you sit down and eat the entire recipe you should reconsider your diet choices.  I’d say about 1 1/2 ounce is a good (approximately) 200 calorie serving size.  Leaving it out on the counter like I do is a mistake since it means I’m grazing on the stuff all day.

On the other hand since there is no baking soda in it… well you don’t have that gassy problem do you?

This also makes a “reasonable” amount to make in a wet climate.  There isn’t so much that you will have to worry about it getting sticky from the humidity or it simply lingering because you got bored.

It threw together in about 10 minutes – so it’s a dangerous recipe, if you enjoy the stuff!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Ounces Water
  • 4 Ounces Unsalted Peanuts, Pecans, Walnuts, Macadamia Nuts, or any combination you prefer
  • 2 Tablespoons ROOM TEMPERATURE butter
  • Salt to taste – or not, I do not

Process:

  1. Prepare a cookie sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  2. Grease lightly cookie sheet with oil.
  3. Chunk the butter into small pieces and set aside.
  4. Lightly Chop the nuts – Or not, your preference.
  5. Add to a 2 quart/Liter sauce pan the water and sugar.
  6. Mix the sugar and water until well dissolved.
  7. Place the sugar water mix on medium high heat until boiling.
  8. Stir the sugar water while on the heat.
  9. Continue to boil the sugar water until it reaches a proper tan/caramel/toffee color.
  10. Add the butter and nuts at the same time and remove from heat while stirring.
  11. The mixture will foam as the water in the butter boils off.
  12. Pour onto a cookie sheet lined with Parchment Paper or Aluminum Foil.
  13. Allow to cool to room temperature and break into bite sized bits.

Bread Dough in Five Minutes In A Plastic Bag

I guess the title says it all, if you’re looking for the short description.

There’s always a back story with me so hold on for the ride.

I wanted a Pizza, but really this can be used to make most basic breads.  I did not want to fuss around with a “full batch” of dough and make a cookie sheet full of rolls and … well you get the picture.

I will say that this will scale up to a larger batch and should be limited by how strong your own hands are.  You see, it’s all about your grip strength.  If you’ve got arthritis or some other limitation, use the machine.

On the other hand, this dough flew together so fast that it’s a great way to make fresh dough for small batches like one pizza dough ball or a couple of rolls.

Basically, I have a “Standard Recipe” for bread.  It’s “Pat’s Pizza Dough” recipe.   It makes 10 sandwich rolls, or about 8 torpedo rolls.  It also will make three pizza dough balls.  The original recipe is at the link – or you can even see my original note written 20 years ago in the picture.

The idea was cut the recipe down to one third of normal, then make it in a bag.

I added to a clean and food safe plastic bag the following ingredients.

  • 3 ounces of water
  • 2 teaspoons of oil
  • 1 cup of bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon of bread yeast
  • 1/3 teaspoon of salt (I used a well rounded 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1/3 teaspoon of sugar (I used a well rounded 1/4 teaspoon)

The process was simple.

 

  • Squeeze most of the air out of the bag and wind the top up to close it.
  • Grip the mix at the bottom of the bag and squeeze it repeatedly.
  • The mix will eventually form a dough ball through repeated kneading.

 

You may have to adjust the water content to fit your needs.  Bread dough is effected by the weather and conditions in your house and kitchen just as you would expect.  Wet climate will make stickier dough, dry climate you may need to add more water.

For Pizza Dough, you need a dough ball that is more dry than tacky or sticky.  Similar to Play-doh or similar modeling clay compound.

For Bread Dough, you need a dough ball that will be a bit tacky and it may want to stick gently to your hands or the side of the bag – but you will be able to remove it from the bag.

Basically that’s about it.  I’ll use this again because it’s saving me a lot of time in preparation and clean up work.

But… it took me just five minutes to get this dough done.  Add to it rolling time and rising time as normal.