When I heard of my sister Emily’s plans to come to Colorado, we set a date for a tea party immediately! You have to know Emily to understand, but although the rest of us really enjoy a good tea party, Emily fully savours the experience like no one else, and I just know she is secretly wishing she were in a corset and a fine gown with a lovely hat, arriving by horse and carriage. She has an addiction to all things Jane Austin, with a particular love for Pride and Prejudice and every female in this family has definitely spent a solid six hours with Emily watching the entire BBC version of the movie (Colin Firth) while drinking copious amounts of tea. Okay, not that any of us are complaining…we might have our own English fantasies too. So, you will understand when I say we have a long history of tea parties, dating back to our childhood years before we had ever picked up Jane Austin and entered her world. Before we had ever experienced tea as it is in England. Which is why it was so very easy to decide to have tea, and include dear friends and family.
As it happened, I had stumbled across a few Meyer lemons the week before and snatched them into my shopping cart, wondering if I shouldn’t just grab the whole pile of them and run for the door. Since we don’t live in California, we tend to see these beauties only in the winter and I was feeling greedy. I came home, not knowing what I would do with them. Then it hit me- I was planning to make lemon curd, of course, for the tea party, and how much more wonderful would it be if it was made with Meyer lemons? And because I have a lavender obsession (you will find), and because, amazingly, the lavender is still budding and blooming in our garden in September, I knew I would have to add that too. Don’t we all know that purple and yellow are complimentary colors- how much better when you get to EAT them together?
I put together a menu, but to be honest, the lemon curd was my priority, and so to go with it, I made mini-scones. My reason for “mini” is this: more opportunity to consume more Devonshire cream and lemon curd. My theory proved, happily, to be true! Turns out, sometimes miniature is good!
Lavender Meyer Lemon Curd
by Stephanie Kunstle
Note: If you do not have fresh lavender, use dried, but try using half as much. Also, be sure your lavender is English lavender which is best for cooking- other varieties can tend to be too strong and deliver a soapy, overly perfumed flavour. And finally, picking the buds while they are still closed is preferred as the oils are best captured inside and most potent.
- 1/2 c sugar
- 4 tsp. cornstarch
- 4 tsp. Meyer lemon zest
- 1/2 c Meyer lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
- 1/2 c butter
- 2 tsp. fresh lavender buds
- 4 eggs
- In a small pot, wisk together sugar, cornstarch, and lemon zest.
- Add the lemon juice, and wisk again to combine well.
- Add butter and lavender, and cook over medium heat until it thickens and has begun to bubble up.
- Beat eggs, and add half of the lemon mixture to the eggs while stirring. Then transfer the egg mixture into the pot and combine well.
- Continue to cook for 2 minutes, while wisking the entire time.
- Remove from heat and put curd to cool in a bowl. Cover the surface of the curd with waxed paper (to avoid a skin forming), and chill. Serve cold with fresh scones, and Devonshire cream. Makes about 2 cups.