Earlier this summer, on a Friday afternoon when I was trying to wrap up a half dozen projects so I could go home for the weekend, I got a cell phone call from our oldest child, who is 19. Jennifer, who is technically Charlie's daughter from a previous marriage, is attending Jones Junior College in Purvis and on the occasion for this phone call, she was in the Wal-Mart in Hattiesburg.
"I'm trying to make that recipe for Blueberry Tartlets in the Better Homes & Gardens magazine you gave me but I can't find the lemon paste it calls for," she said. "What's lemon paste and where would it be?"
Frankly, I'd never heard of lemon paste and I told her so. I suggested if there were such a thing, she should look on the baking aisle with the frostings and icings. She ambled over there, chattering to me all the while, and reported there was no such thing on the shelves. I then sent her over to the aisle with the peanut butter, jams and jellies. Again she came up empty-handed.
In exasperation (we had been on the phone for 15 minutes, I was running late and we pay her cell phone bill), I told her she would have to look at a specialty kitchen or gourmet shop and, in the meantime, I would look in Tupelo.
For two days, I searched for lemon paste. No one had heard of it. I finally dug through the stack of decorating and cooking magazines threatening to overtake my bedroom and found the BH&G with the tartlet recipe. And there it was in black and white: lemon curd. Not lemon paste.
Lemon curd's not that easy to find around here either, but it's not impossible. Jenn never did find any in Hattiesburg, so I'm sending her this recipe so she can make her own. Lemon curd has a multitude of uses - ice cream topping, pudding garnish, cake frosting. I like it spread on warm toast.
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup butter
Mix all ingredients in a blender or mixer. Cook in stainless or ceramic double boiler until thickened, stirring constantly. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftover sauce and reheat in double boiler to serve. Makes about 2 cups. Keeps well in the refrigerator.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal's food/home/garden editor.