Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Visit to Jerusalem


 I purchased the book Plenty several years ago when a number of friends had it on their Christmas lists and it was well-reviewed all over the place. I particularly liked the photograph of the eggplant with the pomegranate seeds, even though my husband and son won't eat eggplant. The critical attention paid to Jerusalem: A Cookbook was not to be ignored, so when Laurie Perry suggested it as a pre-Passover/Easter selection for the Cook Book Book Club, a majority of our members agreed. We met on March 26 for a wonderful feast and several of the recipes (and one new one) went on to a Passover seder not long after.

 

Jerusalem was written by chefs Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, who were raised in different parts of Jerusalem but met in London where they are now business partners. Yotam's father was an Italian Jew whose family relocated to Jerusalem, and Sami's family is from the Muslim area of eastern Jerusalem. The book gives a strong sense of the culinary traditions of both cultures, and how Jerusalem has changed over the years. It's a fascinating read, and there are photographs for every recipe given.

Menu

Ka'ach Bilmalch with Parsley-Garlic-Yogurt Sauce
Raw Artichoke and Herb Salad
Baby Spinach Salad with Dates and Almonds
Pistachio Soup
Herb Pie 
Lemony Leek Meatballs
Fish and Caper Kebobs with Burnt Eggplant and Lemon Pickle
Chicken with Clementines and Arak
Stuffed Eggplant with Lamb and Pinenuts
Poached Pears in White Wine and Cardamom
Clementine and Almond Syrup Cake

Ka'ach Bilmalch with Parsley-Garlic-Yogurt Sauce
My favorite over-achiever Susan Avallone, who loves to bake and also brought dessert, made Ka'ach Bilmalch (which sounds like a Klingon threat) with a Parsley-Garlic-Yogurt Sauce, on which we nibbled as everyone else arrived and dishes made it to the table. They are almost like teething bagels, or perhaps the savory version of the Italian biscuit tarella, but we did enjoy them, with or without the sauce.
Raw Artichoke and Herb Salad
We began the sit-down lunch with a pair of salads. Crystal Armstrong made the Raw Artichoke and Herb Salad, while my sister T Valada-Viars made the Baby Spinach Salad with Dates and Almonds. Following the rule that we should try to follow the recipe and not increase proportions, because we're just looking for a taste, poor Crystal did not get a serving of her own, wonderful, salad. Kudos to Crystal for cleaning those fresh artichokes to shave into the salad.

Baby Spinach Salad with Dates and Almonds
T's salad was equally appreciated, and she modified it to take it to a seder on the first night of Passover by substituting matzoh for the pita "croutons."
Pistachio Soup
Michelle Resnick had a go at the Pistachio Soup recipe. By using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, she was able to make a soup our vegetarian would have eaten (she had to cancel at the last minute) and one she could (and did) serve at her seder to the vegans who attended. 
Herb Pie
The Herb Pie, a variation on the feta pies found all over the middle east, was made by Sharon Baker. When she explained some of the issues she had in putting the pie together because of the fragility of filo, Laurie recommended that next time she take two sheets at a time. Sharon reported back that the trick worked well when she made the pie again.
Quick Pickled Lemon
My contribution to the meal consisted of Fish and Caper Kabobs with Burnt Eggplant and Lemon Pickle. The first step in this entree involved making a batch of the Quick Pickled Lemons because there was not enough time to make Preserved Lemons. The pickled lemons require about two days of advanced planning, but the preserved lemons need at least a month (I now have a jar of them in the cabinet, too.) The lemon is really a garnish for the eggplant.

I took advantage of my kitchen grill and prepared the eggplant that way, charring the skin all over on the flames and then letting the flesh drain and cool well before chopping it up and adding the other ingredients. The book discusses whether this eggplant rises to being called baba ganoush or if it is just an eggplant salad (tahini appears to be the decisive factor, and this recipe doesn't have it.) I personally don't care, because I will eat any eggplant dish that is put before me.
A plate with a bit of everything, with the Burnt Eggplant and Lemon Pickle at the bottom, and the Fish and Caper Kabob above them to the left.
The fish "kabobs" were more like oval-shaped patties, and weren't on any kind of a skewer. They were rather fragile, and I think they needed more oil for frying than I prepared. I was rather disappointed, but everyone else pronounced them good. I would probably try making them again sometime.
Yogurt with Cucumber
Because I will take any excuse to make tatziki, or whatever the equivalent dish is in the many countries surrounding the Mediterranean, I prepared the Yogurt with Cucumber from Jerusalem. The combination of fresh and dried mint may have been what I was missing when I tried to replicate the version from my favorite local Lebanese restaurant. I could eat it for lunch any day. 
 
Lemony Leek Meatballs

The cucumber and yogurt was also a good accompaniment to the fish and the beef Lemony Leek Meatballs which Amie Brockway-Metcalf made. She had arrived home from a family vacation the day before and thought it was a recipe she could pull together with limited time. She was correct (and they looked so much nicer than my fish.)
 
Chicken with Clementines and Arak

Just as I tend to look for fish recipes to prepare, Laurie Perry seems to make a number of the chicken dishes we've eaten. This time, her submission was Chicken with Clementines and Arak. So moist, so delicious, and, apparently, so easy. She planned to make it for Passover. I'm impressed by how good chicken thighs can be when chicken breasts tend to become very, very dry. I can't make this for my family, since my son is allergic to oranges and their variations, but I would consider making this dish if I were making dishes for a large dinner and there would be something else for him to eat.  
Stuffed Eggplant with Lamb and Pinenuts
As I have said repeatedly, I will eat eggplant in pretty much any form it comes in. Kim Gottlieb-Walker made the Stuffed Eggplant with Lamb and Pinenuts. This is another dish which would be ideal for making for a large dinner party, and Kim brought a huge pan of it to the lunch. Each half of the eggplants above could easily serve two people. Add some bread and an salad and it would be a perfect lunch on its own.
Conchiglie with Yogurt, Peas & Chile
Although it was removed from the menu when Liz Mortensen said she couldn't attend the lunch, I decided we needed a starch and Laurie and I made the Conchiglie with Yogurt, Peas, and Chile Liz  was going to do for us. It turned out to be easy, and made a huge amount of pasta, easily a meal on its own on another day. It was also very pretty. I think it would probably be better while still hot, before the yogurt was soaked up by the pasta.
Poached Pears in White Wine and Cardamom
We had two wonderful desserts. Catherine Fleming made Poached Pears in White Wine and Cardamom and Susan made another fabulous cake, this time Clementine and Almond Syrup Cake. 
The pears were served with a spoonful of creme fraiche, and also had some saffron coloring the wine syrup. A dessert like this is perfect note for ending a meal.
Clementine and Almond Syrup Cake
Susan's cake she finely grind almonds, but pre-ground almond flour from someplace like Bob's Red Mill would probably make it easier. The dark chocolate ganache is a perfect finish to the moist cake underneath, which was soaked in the clementine syrup. I saved another piece for a later snack. So did my sister.
A piece of cake for later.
I expect that recipes from this book will have a regular rotation in my kitchen. I look forward to June, when it will be the Food52 Cookbook Club selection and I will have 30 days of excuses to cook from Jerusalem.


Pickled Lemons for next time.



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Julia Child and All of Us: Our First Anniversary & Seventh Meeting


The Lovely Ladies who braved Mastering the Art of French Cooking in February, from left clockwise: Liz Mortensen, Crystal Armstrong, Catherine Fleming, Sharon Baker, Christine Valada, Laura Brennan, Julia Roberts, Susan Avallone, Michelle Resnick, T Valada-Viars, and Lisa Klink (photo by Kerry Glover.)
Being brave souls and encouraged by the fact that we made it through a year of meetings, the Cook Book Book Club celebrated its first anniversary by turning to the feared Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child on February 4, 2017.

Menu 

Pan Francais
Pate
Aigo Bouido (Garlic Soup), v.1, p. 47
Quiche aux Fruits de Mer, v. 1, p. 149
Camembert Quiche, v. 1, p. 148
Coquilles St. Jacque a la Parisienne, v. 1, pp. 216-218
Filets de Poisson a la Bretonne, v. 1, p. 211 
 Pommes de Terre au Basilic, v. 2, p. 388
Poached Chicken in White Wine w/Provencal, v.1, p. 261 
 Duck with Cherries, v. 1
Vegetables a la Grecque, v. 1, p. 537
Reine de Saba (Chocolate & Almond Cake), v.1, p. 677
Clafouti aux Poires (Pear Flan), v. 1, p. 656 

I find this book somewhat intimidating, not because the instructions are complicated, but more because they are laid out in such an exacting manner that something that should only take a page runs to six, or a recipe that could be done in a matter of hours takes days. We've come to the conclusion that this may be because when the book came out, there were not chefs all over television doing demonstrations, making home cooks far more sophisticated in their cooking skills and much less likely to need such elaborate instruction.

But take the French Bread for example. It is less complicated than Nancy Silverton's bread recipes which begin with creating your own starter from the grapes you have growing on the trellis outside your kitchen in your potager. No kidding. I did this, since how else could I know that my grapes were untreated by pesticides. And I will also add that it is the only time my attempt at making a sourdough starter actually worked the way it was supposed to. What I did not know was how much flour would give up its life to keep the starter alive over the course of about 18 months, because there's no way three people could eat as much bread as would be required to use all of it. The dogs were very happy with the resulting dog biscuits which became the go-to when overwhelmed by the Blob That Grew in My Kitchen and I did pretty much work my way through the entire Breads from the La Brea Bakery cook book. But I digress.

The recipe for bread spans pages and pages. It suggests a time-table of around 18 hours. I started the night before, and I let one rise take place outside on a cold night--I had no room in my refrigerator for that particular proofing of the dough. I decided not to do baguettes because I did not have the cloche or a metal pan to hold the narrow loaves in the manner described. I did, however, have a pair of bannetons, left over from the above mentioned affair with Nancy, that I may never have used. Julia gave me the instructions I needed to be able to use them without the dough sticking to the baskets: a spray of Pam and rice flour. Worked like a charm. 
Shaped loaf before putting it in a banneton.
Finishing the baking.
I did the final rise in my oven at the "proof" setting, which was a setting I knew I wanted once I heard about it. I can use it while the other oven (I have a double electric wall oven) is preheating my baking stone to 550 degrees. (The new oven, which was installed days before Thanksgiving, makes it easier to add a pan of water to produce steam for the desired crisp crust on French bread.)
After the final rise, the dough was carefully rolled out of the banneton onto parchment paper, scored, and slid into the oven onto the baking stone. I added cold water and ice to the heated metal pan on the bottom of the oven to create steam. The bread had plenty of oven spring and it was soft on the inside while crunchy on the outside. I served it with unsalted Kerry Gold butter (because I couldn't find any French cultured butter) and we also ate it with Julia Robert's pate. Needless to say, everyone loved the final product and I fully intend to make it again (although I am now working on wet-batter Pullman loaves for sandwiches since I finally broke down and bought a Pullman pan.)
Chicken liver pate.
Liz Mortensen made Aido Bouido, or garlic soup. It was actually light and not overly garlicy (not that that would have been a problem with our group.) I think that one of the pleasures of these meals is that someone almost always makes soup and we get to serve it in the cute cream soup bowls that go with the Aynsley Cottage Garden soup tureen. (I also just acquired the most wonderful replacement for the plastic ladles we've been using. I can't wait to show it to everyone next month.)
Aido Bouido
We then moved on to two different quiches. Michelle Resnick made Quiche aux Fruits de Mer while Catherine Fleming made the Camembert Quiche.
Quiche aux Fruits de Mer
Camembert Quiche
I know that Michelle had done a dry run on her quiche a week or two before our lunch because she sent me a text mentioning she had a date with Julia that night. Catherine's choice reminded me of the time my husband and I were watching Food Network one Saturday night and there was a show on all about camembert. When it finished, we looked at each other and proclaimed "must have cheese!" We raced out into the San Fernando Valley darkness at 8:30 on a weekend night, looking for any place that might be open and would have the cheese and bread we sought. Trader Joe's let us down, but we were able to get to Whole Foods where the large cheese display did, in fact, have camembert and some other excellent French cheeses that we consumed for our supper. Both quiches would make an excellent meal with a side salad. I always forget how relatively easy quiche is to make and that it is a good way to incorporate leftovers into a different dish.
We were treated to two different fish preparations for our next course, Coquilles St. Jacques a la Parisienne made by Kerry Glover and Filets de Poisson a la Bretonne made by Lisa Klink. 
Coquilles St. Jacques a la Parisienne
Kerry decided to make the scallops in a casserole, rather than in individual dishes, because it would be easier to transport. I let her know that if she wanted to make them in individual ramekins next time, I had more than enough for everyone. Somehow, I became obsessed with the Cottage Garden ramekins and I now own more than two dozen of them. Unfortunately, I only have half-a-dozen ramekin forks. (First World problem, indeed.)

Though I may have forgotten to process the photos, I don't seem to have any pictures of Lisa's dish, or the Pommes de Terre au Basilic that Sharon Baker made, which we ate with the fish dishes. If I find the photos, or if anyone else has them, I will add them to this post later.

We moved on to a poultry course with Poached Chicken in White Wine with Provencal, made by Crystal Armstrong, and Duck with Cherries, which I made.
Poached Chicken in White Wine with Provencal
Duck with Cherries
Crystal's chicken looks like a good choice for a large group of people and tasted very good in its tomato-based sauce. While there was enough duck to go around for a tasting meal, as this obviously was, I think that there's really never enough duck which really is a stretch if there's more than 3 people eating. I would definitely consider two ducks to be the minimum for six people if it is the main course. The cherry accompaniment is made separately and spooned over the duck portion when it is carved and plated. I would definitely consider spatchcocking the duck to help it render the fat and cook a little faster.

We ate Laura Brennan's Vegetables a la Grecque with the poultry course and they could almost serve as a European salad course prior to dessert. She made one version with eggplant and a second with mushrooms. Both were finished with an oil and lemon juice dressing, which was good for cutting the fat from the bird dishes.
Vegetables a la Grecque (Eggplant).
Vegetables a la Grecque (Mushrooms).
Also missing from the photographs is the braised red cabbage with chestnuts I made, which was the book's suggested side for the duck. It was very popular with everyone, but it is another of those dishes which take a lot longer to make than even the cook book indicates. It is definitely a winter dish.

There were two desserts, a pear clafouti and Reine de Saba. My sister T Valada-Viars made the Clafouti aux Poires, which the cook book translated as "pear flan." It was a very light dough, but not so creamy as a flan which is more like a pudding.
Clafouti aux Poires on the range.
Clafouti aux Poires after it finished baking in the oven.
The Claflouti started on the stove-top but finished in the oven. She cooked it in a 10" Le Creuset braising pan.

Susan Avallone, who always looks for something to bake, took on the Reine de Saba, one of Julia Child's favorite recipes. It is a very rich, chocolate and almond torte with a chocolate glaze. Susan tried it two different ways, with different textured almond meal or flour.
Two versions of Reine de Saba.
Either way, it was delicious.

I might very well suggest we revisit Julia sometime in the future. There are so many more recipes to try and we did such a good job with it the first time around, it will be far less intimidating when we go back to it again. However, so many cook books, so little time. Bon appetito!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Cook Book Book Club Christmas Tea, Meeting #6

As anyone who might be following this intermittent blog will quickly realize, I love going to take tea. I look for possibilities when I am traveling, and we have several places we frequent (not quite the right word) here in Los Angles. If I wouldn't be as big as a house and if I could afford it, I'd probably do tea at least once a month, but several times a year is the more likely occurrence. I always try to take tea when I am in San Diego for Comic-con, and we usually plan to go for tea when Susan Ellison's birthday rolls around in June. If we fit some shopping in after Christmas, a trip to Beverly Hills and tea is in order. If I'm lucky, I go out for tea at least one other time during the year. If there's the possibility of a Triple Crown winner, I throw the Belmont Tea on the first Saturday in June. (You'll find a post about the most recent Belmont Tea somewhere below in 2015.)
A Table for 16, with Teapots
Breaking the rules for a Christmas Tea for the Cook Book Book Club seemed like a no-brainer. We did not stick to one book. Instead, people were encouraged to produce a recipe they liked, no matter what the source, and bring a copy of the recipe to share. We had some over-achievers who decided to bring more than one dish and I really did feel like I couldn't even sample everything that my friends  brought. It was a LOT of food.

My Overfilled Plate
The menu:

Savories
Chopped Chicken Liver--Kim Gottlieb-Walker
Salmon Salad--Kim Gottlieb-Walker
Cucumber Sandwiches-- Michelle Heinig Resnick
Chicken Finger Sandwiches--Laurie Perry
Egg Salad Finger Sandwiches--Melinda Snodgrass
Luxe Truffle Deviled Eggs--Sharon D. Baker
Lobster Cheese Cakes-- Christine Valada
Tomato-Cheddar Tartlets-- Mary De Longis
Anchovy Roulades-- Gillian Horvath
Fig & Ricotta Crisp Breads--Liz Mortensen
Pears Poached in Red Wine--T Valada Viars

Scones
Lemon Curd--Laurie Perry
Black Forest Jam--Kerry Glover
Clotted Cream-Julia Roberts
Ginger Scones--Lisa Klink
Scones--Laura Brennan

Sweets
Chocolate Cream Cheese Brownies--Nan Cohen
Mom's Lemon Shortbread Squares--Gillian Horvath
Cherry Pielettes--Kerry Glover
Grandma's Strawberry Jam Strudel--Kim Rebecca Gottlieb-Walker

Teas
Earl Grey
Chocolate
Ginger
Green

The table was set using Lenox Holiday china, with several variations in the cups. Lenox has produced Holiday for years. Some of the varieties include Presidential, Holly Berry, and Holiday Hostess (all off-white with a gold trim), with a number of different shapes, but they all work quite well together. I used the Holiday dinner plates for the first course, and the luncheon-sized Holiday Hostess plates for the scones and sweets. Flatware was the Lenox stainless Holiday pattern with the inset of a china oval bearing the holly leaf and berries. There were a variety of serving implements that have been acquired over the years to go with the pattern, from stainless with the holly and berries in relief to acrylic handled servers in red or red and green. Stemware, not shown in the early stages of setting the table, above, was Longchamps. I used both the waters (technically, the iced teas) and the champagnes.

Because we decided to meet at 4:00 P.M., traditional tea time, the light wasn't as good as it might be and I actually missed out on photographing many of the dishes. We moved my dining room table to the living room to have enough room for the eighteen people I originally expected, but we were down to sixteen before we sat down. Holidays do get in the way, sometimes. I wasn't really happy with how the pictures came out, but I will post what I did manage. (If anyone who attended wants to add more, please send them to me to put up.)

Food, Glorious Food
Hats were optional, but lots of us went with hats. I think I bought one the weekend before at a flea market. From left, above, going around the table, it looks like Kim Gottlieb-Walker, Julia Roberts, Michelle Resnick, Lisa Klink, Melinda Snodgrass, T Valada-Viars, Laurie Perry, Nan Cohen, Laura Brennan, and Kerry Glover standing.
The rest of the table, thanks to Kerry Glover.
In the second photograph of the table, you can see me in a red hat, Sharon Baker and Liz Mortensen on my left, and Mary DeLongis and Gillian Horvath to my right.

I had the sinking realization that I had an inadequate number of sugar and creamers for a group this large that matched the dinnerware. I am working on fixing that for next time.
Gillian Horvath and her Rose Marie Apron

Gillian's Anchovy Roulades
Several people finished dishes in the kitchen, which was quite crowded just before seating. Gillian Horvath was slicing her roulades for baking, from the wonderful book Afternoon Tea at Home by Will Torrent. Torrent has worked at several notable tea rooms in London and the book is stunning. Every dish has a photograph, and the photographs are gorgeous.

A Recommended Reference
I purchased the book last summer and recommended it to several people. Liz Mortensen  and T Valada-Viars made their contributions from the same book.
Luxe Truffle Deviled Eggs and Cucumber Sandwiches
Sharon Baker's Luxe Truffle Deviled Eggs along with Michelle Resnick's Cucumber Sandwiches.

Chicken Tea Sandwiches
Laurie Perry brought along chicken finger sandwiches.Since Laurie has pitched in when I've been behind schedule at many a party at my house--including the time I decided profiteroles were the way to serve coronation chicken salad--I was glad they arrived finished so she could enjoy herself.

Egg Salad Sandwiches
Melinda Snodgrass, who has not made it to any other meeting, gave us egg salad sandwiches, so I think we hit all of the major tea groups, sandwich wise.

Poached Pears in Red Wine
The Poached Pears in Wine which my sister made from the Will Torrent book were served on endive, with blue cheese and walnuts, and finished on a slice of dark bread. it was the kind of combination which really lifts the level of a tea to the heavens. Equally good were Liz's Fig and Ricotta Crisp Breads from the same book (one may be at about 4 o'clock in the picture of the over-filled plate, above.)

Tomato-Cheddar Cheese Tartlets
Mary DeLongis brought a huge platter of Tomato-Cheddar Tartlets down from the ranch. Because of the sliced tomato on each one, it occurred to me that it may be a recipe to repeat during peak tomato season later this year.
Salmon Salad
Kim Gottlieb-Walker made salmon salad and chopped chicken liver to eat on crackers. I think the chopped chicken liver is at the 8 o'clock position on my plate near the top of this page, and the salmon looks like it's at 2 o'clock.
Savories (Photography by Gillian Horvath)
I made Lobster Cheese Cakes. That's the cute little savory at the 9 o'clock position in the photograph above. I needed to buy cupcake trays with removable bottoms, which were actually easy to find on Amazon. The cheese cakes had a breadcrumb crust and the filling was made with lobster tale meat. What's not too like? The recipe made enough so that each of the expected number of guests could have one, and since a few people didn't make it, I got to eat the extras. My sister, who truly loves lobster, developed an allergy to crustaceans and is heartbroken when lobster, shrimp, or crayfish is on the menu. I ate hers. The recipe came from Teatime Holidays from 2015. The softcover collection from Tea Time Magazine has many wonderful recipes.
Available on Amazon.com
Sadly, I appear to have no pictures of the scones or sweets courses, although I think that may be Laurie's lemon curd in the upper left of Gillian's photo. This is a particular shame because Julia Roberts went to the trouble to actually make clotted cream for us. Julia said the most difficult thing about clotted cream is making sure some other member of the household doesn't try to turn off the oven during the twenty-four-hour cooking process! We had two kinds of scones, along with lemon curd and Black Forest jam to sample. Plus Gillian found a recipe for vegan clotted cream which she made and brought along for the lactose intolerant in the group.

Update: Kerry Glover did have a photograph of the cherry pie she made, although she did not have the cherry pie-lets that she made so everyone could get one.
Kerry Glover's Cherry Pie.
I am very glad that the Lenox dishes and flatware (except for the acrylic-handled serving pieces) and the glassware are all dishwasher safe. We were able to get the kitchen put away in good order without too much trouble.

Here are some other titles to consider when looking for tea recipes:









One of my favorite tea cook books is a self-published one from a tea shop that used to be in Carlsbad, California. Ticky-Boo Tea Room disappeared literally overnight. Fortunately, my friends had bought me the cook book when we first ate there. They served the best scones I had ever eaten until I went to Australia. I've posted the recipe before. Here it is again:

 Ticky-Boo Scones

2 C. All-purpose Flour
1 T. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/3 C. Sweet Butter
1/4 C. Vegetable Shortening
1/3 C. Heavy Cream
Splash of Water

Place baking sheet in oven and preheat to 450 degrees F.
Sift the measured dry ingredients together, twice.
Dice fats into the dry ingredients, then lightly rub with cool fingertips or pastry blender. Make a well in center and stir in cream. Lightly mix with a fork until a soft dough forms. If dough is dry, add water, sprinkling a little at a time until the dough is perfect for kneading.
Turn out on a well-floured board and knead very lightly for about 1/2 minute for a loose smooth dough. Roll out with a rolling pin or pat with hands to approximately 3/4" thick.
Stamp out with a cutter or cut into triangles with a sharp knife. Knead together any trimmings and stamp out again, continuing until all the dough is used.
Lift with a spatula onto the preheated baking sheet, placing them 1" apart. Brush tops only with beaten egg or milk (optional--I don't.)
Bake toward the top of the oven for approximately 10-15 minutes or until well risen and golden brown. Remove and turn out onto a wire rack for cooling. Best served warm with clotted or Devon Cream and jam or curd.
This basic recipe may be adjusted to add currants, raisins, cheese with sage and walnuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, or any other spice or variety you choose.

And here is the recipe from Helen Whitty's Fancy Pantry cook book for Lemon Curd that Laurie Perry made:

Enough ripe, fragrant, bright-skinned limes or lemons (about 3) to yield 1 T. of grated zest and 1/2 cup of strained juice
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 2 T. unsalted butter, cut up
Pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1 1/4 C. sugar

1.  Run 2 inches of water into the base ban of a double boiler and set it over medium heat to come to a brisk simmer.
2.  Grate or shred enough zest from washed and dried limes or lemons to make 1 T. packed of the lime zest or 1-1/2 T packed lemon zest.
3.  Place the zest in the top pan of the double boiler. Add the strained juice to the pan. Drop the cut-up butter and the pinch of salt into the pan. Set aside.
4.  Beat the egg yolks and whole egg together at high speed in the large bowl of an electric mixer until they are foamy; gradually add the sugar, continuing to beat the mixture until it is pale, fluffy, and very thick, about 5 minutes.
5.  Scrape the egg mixture into the double-boiler top and set the top into the base containing simmering water. At once begin whisking the mixture; cook it, whisking it constantly until it has thickened smoothly and is steaming hot, about 10 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the curd; it is done when it will coat a metal or wooden spoon heavily (170 degrees on an instant read thermometer.)
6.  Pour the curd into a fine-meshed sieve set over a bowl and press it through with a rubber spatula, leaving the shreds of zest to be discarded. Scrape the curd into sterilized, dryjars, let cool uncovered, then cap the jars with sterilized lids. Refrigerate the curd.