Strawberry Lemon Curd

Strawberry Lemon Curd: A balanced spread, not too sweet, not too tart, that lets all the fruit shine through. 

Getting a reputation can be a mixed blessing. I once revealed to the cook in our local deli that we own chickens, and from that day on, whenever I walk through the door, she yells “Hey, chicken man!”. Over the years, we’ve made several friends in Beacon through introductions to our lemon curd. We’ll meet a new person, tell them about Nerds with Knives, and then their eyes will light up and they’ll exclaim “I made the lemon curd! It was so lemony!” It’s very flattering, but it does mean we feel that we have to keep ahead of expectations. After all, we can’t coast on lemon curd forever. So it’s a good thing that we have a glut of garden and local farm strawberries, because that means we can make Strawberry Lemon Curd! (It’s like normal lemon curd. But with strawberries.)

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Sticky Toffee Pudding (warm date cake)

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky toffee pudding is a hallowed British dessert which translates to American as “warm date cake drizzled with toffee sauce”. Either way you say it, it’s a deliciously rich and comforting treat, perfect for a chilly evening. 

This is a line that (I will pretend) gets thrown at me on a regular basis by drive-by shouters at Nerds Farm: “Oy, mate! You, nerd with knife! I thought you were British! Where’s the sticky toffee pudding, eh? Call yourself a food blog?” Well, firstly, no, I don’t call myself a food blog, and secondly, ha, joke’s on you, fella, because I’ve been making sticky toffee pudding on a weekly basis, and damn good pudding it’s been, too, I just haven’t blogged any of it. I’ve been told this kind of churlish behavior is unnecessarily cruel to our readers, so at last, here is the proof of the pudding, be it both sticky and toffee-flavored.

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Blueberry-Lemon Curd Tartlets with Almond Crust

Blueberry-Lemon Curd Tartlets with Almond Crust

The perfect use for our gorgeous pink blueberry lemon curd, these pastry tartlets are flavored and decorated with almonds. Each tartlet is a miniature delight, yet sufficient to share with a loved one (or keep to yourself, of course, you gannet).

When we saw how striking our blueberry lemon curd turned out, we knew it wouldn’t be enough simply to slather it on some toast (as delicious as that might be). Something that gorgeous and cheeky deserved to be showcased – and this was our solution: adorable little blueberry lemon curd tartlets. A shortcrust base generously flavored with ground almonds and a little fresh rosemary, pre-baked, cooled, and filled with the curd, which we decorated wth more ground and sliced almonds, some fresh blueberries and a few flowering mint sprigs.

Blueberry-Lemon Curd Tartlets with Almond Crust

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Strawberry-Basil Martini

Cocktail with strawberries

Strawberry-Basil Martini

It’s berry season, everyone! Sound the trumpets! Blow your kazoo! Get your strawberry costumes cleaned and pressed! 

After a long, cold winter, spring always feels like a greatest hits album of produce, with one favorite coming into season right after another. Asparagus, boom! Ramps, double boom! Green garlic! Morels! Peas! And then, when we’re all warmed up … berries

Just look at this shot of our haul from the Beacon Farmer’s Market last week. I mean, seriously, things are looking up.

Ramps, watermelon radishes, young leeks and pea shoots
Ramps, watermelon radishes, young leeks and pea shoots.

While the berries we’re growing won’t be ready for another week or two, fantastic berries are popping up at the grocery store and farmers market right now and there’s so many things we want to make with them! 

Seriously, you should see my recipe wish-list. It’s one berry dish after another, but this time we decided to kick off the season with a cocktail made with fresh strawberry syrup: a Strawberry-Basil Martini.

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Concord Grape Jelly

Concord grape jelly

Making concord grape jelly is really easy and you don’t have to be a homesteader to do it. All you need is grapes, sugar and lemons – no added pectin!

I may as well put it out there straight away: we’re not homesteaders. At least, not yet. If you’re reading this (frankly, if you’re not reading this, I don’t know what the hell’s going on), you’re no doubt into food, and home cooking, and perhaps you subscribe to the newsletters of people who have acreage and live off the land and have their very own scoby and sourdough starter, both of which have names (I’d name my sourdough starter “Scrimshaw”, I think. How about you?) People who pickle. People who can.

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