My favorite spring flowers are tiny purple violets and aromatic lilies of the valley, both magical announcements of spring, particularly in my native Minnesota. After long winters of ice, snow and sub-zero temperatures, these amazing and delicate blossoms boldly proclaimed that, indeed, spring had sprung! I have both growing in my garden and am thrilled with their appearance each year…the violets arrive first and the lilies of the valley follow.
My favorite spring flavors are similar in a sense to the flowers; fresh, aromatic, and bold. Consider the lemon. What a difference it creates when combined with fresh garlic and sprigs of hardy rosemary in roast spring lamb or chicken!
Lemon Curd (also known as lemon cheese or lemon butter) is a marvelous concoction that I use in so many ways. We will be using it in our Lemon Mousse with Fresh Berries at our Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday, May 12. The following recipe was given to me by an innkeeper in Victoria, BC, and I use it constantly. Try it as a filling for tarts and cakes, in fruit parfaits, or as a spread for toast or hot scones.
6 eggs, well beaten
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
Combine all ingredients in the top of a double boiler. Cook over simmering water, whisking steadily, until the mixture thickens and the temperature reaches about 160 degrees F. Pour the hot mixture into shallow container, cover with plastic wrap, (touching the curd, no air) and refrigerate until ready to use.
Makes about 3 cups.