A few weeks ago, during one of my many excursions to the library, I skimmed through the recipe section pulling off a forgotten favorite on Russian and Polish cooking, then the title ‘Breakfast’ caught my eye. Joy of Cooking’s “All about Breakfast and Brunch.” I can see why a lot of people would be attracted to such a title. After all, breakfast as a category is one of the most beloved conventions, but as a savory person I could pretty much leave behind everything from the traditional meal of breakfast. So why grab the book? Two reasons: Andrew loves breakfast foods, and maybe I would be able to find something new to inspire me.
I can’t say I was disappointed in the book as a whole. It really does contain a lot of recipes covering eggs, pancakes, crêpes, waffles, muffins, biscuits, breads, grains, and even beverages. There are some savory things such as plays on the typical ham and potato recipes, and vegetable side dishes, but complete listings for Mango Coulis, Blueberry Coulis, Raspberry Coulis… all the exact same recipe simply substituting the type of berry only ingrained my ideas about breakfast; it’s a lot like going to Taco Bell. You can order all kinds of different items, but they are just rearrangements of the same basic ingredients.
That being said one recipe caught my eye. Not because it was an ingenious new take on the ‘same-ole-same-ole’, but because it had the most generic title I have ever seen.
‘Rich Hot Lemon Sauce’
- I thought for sure it was going to be a knock-off of hollandaise sauce like that on Sky City’s menu: ‘citrus emulsion’.
- It’s like renaming mustard as ‘yellow tangy sandwich spread.’
- It rates up there with the SciFi movie knock-offs ‘Transmorphers’ and ‘Sinister Squad.‘
I’ve got to hand it to them though, if for no other reason, it did get my attention. With the description of being ‘similar to lemon curd, but more transparent, and slightly sweeter,’ I was curious enough to try it out.
It was fantastic!
(Perhaps we should also give “Independents’ Day” and “Amityville Haunting” a chance?)
After I had returned the book I found myself desiring to make the recipe again, but, go figure, the library was closed for an extended holiday weekend. What can you do? GOOGLE! So I Googled the only words I knew, ‘warm rich lemon sauce.’ Mostly I got fish recipes. Not it. Eventually I ended up at a page that described all different manner of lemon sauces with their basic ingredients listed, names, and uses. But of course! I can’t find that page now! And I forgot what I concluded about what the original sauce might have been otherwise called.
So here I am again, beginning another extensive google and history search only to end up starting completely over with ‘warm right lemon sauce’ and going back again to all those fish recipes! What I have finally concluded is that ‘Warm Rich Lemon Sauce’ is really just another name for Lemon Curd.
So I’ve told you my harrowing story about coming across this recipe and peeled open my heart about how much we love it. So what do you do with it? It’s great on any sweet baked good; pound cake, cheese cake, muffins, donuts, gingerbread, or cookies… it would even be good on ice cream or fresh fruit. I like that you can make it ahead, store it in the fridge, and simply reheat it slowly in a pan for the intended use. It firms up when cool so is easy to handle and transport, and has a pleasant appearance, aroma, and texture.
So, sweet I am not, savory to the core, this recipe, however, is a total win for a lot of applications. I hope you enjoy it!
(And now, if you need to Google ‘warm rich lemon sauce’ something should show up besides fish!)
Warm Rich Lemon [Curd] Sauce
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- zest of one lemon (optional)
- 2 T water
- 3 large egg yolks
- 8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, sliced
- Combine the sugar, lemon juice, zest, and water in a medium sauce pan and whisk until combined.
- Whisk in the egg yolks until well blended.
- Set over low* heat and add the butter, piece by piece, stirring gently and constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula until the sauce comes to a simmer. Cook until thickened, about 1 minute.
- If you have chosen to use the zest you can strain it with a fine mesh sieve, otherwise you can serve your sauce immediately, or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for several days.
Notes: *I used level 3 on our electric burner. It takes a long time to come to simmer, but forcing it too fast won’t produce the right texture.