Thursday, 29 August 2013

Frugal Gourmet - Cooking Delicious, Cheap and Easy Food.

Frugal Gourmet - a Day in the Kitchen

Here in Frugaldom, I've been making and trading lemon curd for quite a few years, but am ashamed to say that I hadn't made any this year, until today. The ducks, hens and quail are all laying well, so I always have a heap of eggs ready to use.
This morning, we had our porridge (the cat included) and then I baked two small loves - these cost pennies each if you bake them in the breadmaker on 'Express' setting and use the cheapest of the cheap, bulk bought flour. Today's loaves are made from a 50:50 mix of gluten free bread flour with sunflower and sesame seeds and white soft bap mix. Here's the recipe I used, just in case you, too, are a bargain bulk-buying, batch cooker.


300ml warm water
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons veg oil
225g soft bap mix
225g sesame & sunflower seed gluten free bread mix
1 teaspoon dried yeast
Baked in the breadmaker on 'express' setting, which takes 45 minutes. I'd to split the above in half and make two small loves, as it's the hand-me-down twin pan breadmaker I'm using for this.

Next up - beef and tomato stew  I cooked the diced beef with some of the past week's tomato pickings and spring onions in a little salted water then added a sprig of fresh herbs - rosemary, sage and basil picked from the garden. A few cheap gravy granules and hey presto - a dish fit for kings. As is, this big pan of stew would probably serve 4 people, depending on what it's being served with at the time, but frugal gourmet suggestions include the addition of beans, lentils, chick peas or other similar protein-rich foodstuff to turn it into a batch cooked meal for 10 to 12.
At lunchtime, I made soufflĂ© omelette but decided to make the meringue version - 5 egg whites whisked into peaks, stir in one egg yolk, then salt and pepper to season - higher protein and lower fat that your 'normal' omelette, except that we had grated cheese melted over the top. :) Anyhow, it conveniently left me with 4 egg yokes, which is perfect for lemon curd!
4 egg yolks (I use our own hens' eggs)
150g sugar
100mls lemon juice (or lime or orange or a mixture)
70g butter (or margarine)
Beat the egg yolks and sugar together whilst gently warming the butter and lemon juice. Add the egg yolk/sugar mix to the pan and whisk together with the lemon and butter. (Today I am using 50:50 lemon and lime juice.) Keep this on a low heat and whisk regularly until the mixture thickens to resemble custard. If you are cooking on a log burner, it's easier to take the pan off the heat to whisk it, otherwise cook slowly over a low heat. Do not allow the mix to boil.
Pour into a sterilised, pre-heated jar and leave to cool. Once set, keep it refrigerated.
This quantity is sufficient for one full jar and is classed as an absolute luxury, gourmet food when it's made with fresh eggs and butter. Check the ingredients in a supermarket bought 'bargain' jar and see the difference for yourself. This here is the real McCoy, nothing beats it in taste.

This is today's lemon and lime curd, I'm using a 500ml clip-top jar. The jars were on special offer in a big name supermarket when I first got them - an amazing 3 for £2 - so I got £10 worth of them a few years ago and they have been great for all sorts of jellies, preserves, pickles and curds.



  1. What delicious recipes and it must be so comforting to know where those ingredients come from.

    Sft x

    1. It's nice to have a little luxury now and again even if some of the ingredients are from friends' gardens. :)

  2. Yum - we love lemon curd. My daughter often makes it but I do have to remind her to watch it doesn't boil! Last time, we had to sieve it but boy, tasted wonderful - shop bought is just a bland copy...

    1. Carol, this was the first time I'd tried making it in the cast iron pots and have to admit that I found it much easier. Reading the ingredients on the labels of the cheap saver lemon curd, I had notice that it didn't even contain eggs! LOL

  3. Nothing beats homemade for flavour!
    x x

    1. Let me know if you try making any but only if you have the ingredients in stock. :) I have used the AppFood tinned marge and the cheap lemon juice to make this several times in the past and can hardly tell the difference in the end product - still tastes ten times better than the cheap supermarket saver stuff.

  4. You really can't beat homemade lemon curd can you, the taste really is luxurious, and on homemade bread is to die for :-)

    1. That was what I had at lunchtime today - homemade lemon curd on the sunflower and sesame seed bread, followed by a slice of courgette and raspberry chocolate cake. :)


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