Things I love about Melbourne:
Lying in bed, and hearing the tram turn the corner.
Buzzing cafes, spilling over, morning, noon and night.
Nearly every coffee is a great coffee.
Thriving, independent bookstores, filled with real, actual books.
Endless pockets of quirky, one-off shops.
Old and new sitting well together.
The attention to design and style in almost everything.
Things I hate about Melbourne:
Winter has been dark, wet and dreary, as evidenced by my shadowy, window-lit pics.
A feeble complaint from a girl who grew up praying for snow days and trudging through slush, perhaps, but I've gone soft.
Luckily, nature is sometimes merciful.
Just when you think you can't stand another day of gumboots and inverted umbrellas, lemons appear.
Spreadable sunshine, actually, if you meld them with eggs, sugar, and butter to make Extra-Rich Golden Lemon Curd.
Two things set this recipe, adapted from la Martha, apart:
- egg yolks - six, to be exact, and not a white in sight. A yolk-only approach makes for a richer, thicker curd. You could go with three whole eggs, for a lighter result, but why?
- straining - not once, but twice. First, the egg yolks and, later, the final emulsion. When you see what's left in the sieve, you'll be glad you did.
The result from this ridiculously simple recipe is a decadent pot of goodness - or badness, depending upon how you look at it.
I went through a half-loaf of bread to get these shots.
The props kept disappearing.
But I forgot all about the weather.
Extra-Rich Lemon Curd
Adapted from Martha Stewart's 1995 recipe.
Yield: 1.5 cups
6 organic egg yolks, beaten
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice, strained
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 Tbs lemon zest, grated
1. Start by sterilizing a glass jar for your finished product.
2. Locate the perfect pot: it should be heavy-based and medium-sized, to reduce your odds of winding up with scrambled eggs.
3. Separate your eggs, reserving the whites for a future meringue - or egg white omelet, should you feel the need to repent. Egg whites can be frozen - just be sure to label them so you know how many you are dealing with later.
4. Beat the yolks until smooth and strain through a fine mesh sieve, directly into the saucepan. Don't push what remains through the sieve; you don't want it in there.
5. Grate the zest from one lemon and set aside.
6. Add the lemon juice and sugar to the egg yolk and stir to combine.
7. Over a low, gentle heat, stir continuously for 10-15 minutes, until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon.
8. Remove from the heat and pour through a clean sieve, into a mixing bowl.
9. Swiftly add the chilled butter pieces and mix through - this will lend a satiny sheen as well as cool your mixture.
10. Add the grated lemon zest - 1 Tbs if you are going regulation, more if you prefer extra pucker.
11. Make a piece of toast with white bread only - the kind you'd never admit to buying. Spread your toast with salted butter. Slather it with your lemon curd. Repeat as necessary.
12. Transfer what remains to your glass container and refrigerate.
In theory, it will keep for two weeks, but I suspect we'll never know.