Dear Martha (Stewart),
You’ve foiled me again.
It’s knitting night. Thus I had to step up my game. And prepare desserts.
That’s your queue.
It all started when your recipe for Iced Raspberry Loaf Cake caught my eye in your most recent edition of Living. I’ve had some frozen strawberries from last summer’s garden staring me down from the freezer for a while now. In a moment of brilliance, I decided I would simply substitute strawberries for raspberries and proceed. Simple enough.
The real catch came when the adjacent recipe somehow intrigued me: jasmine shortbread sandwiches with grapefruit curd. Grapefruit curd sounded DIVINE. And if you need the cookies to have some surface upon which to slather the curd, so be it. Even though I have never made curd or shortbread cookies before. Risky.
Martha, this is where I about had a heart attack this morning.
I’ve been saving our eggs all week long, eating cereal for breakfast instead. I scrimped together an entire dozen–the six needed for the curd and the six called for in the loaf cake. Given many of our hens aren’t laying for the winter, this was a small miracle in and of itself.
I knew I had to start my day of baking with the curd. Because apparently it required 4 hours and 15 minutes.
Good thing I cleared my calendar.
I followed your recipe to the dots on the Is.
I wasn’t sure if you wanted me to use a hand whisk or an electric beater when you said “whisk together the eggs…” I would have guessed hand whisk, but I recently saw Giada whip up grapefruit zabaglione over berries. Giada used an electric beater. The two recipes struck me as similar, so an electric beater it was.
Before I knew it, my curd was foam. Like halfway to meringue. This struck me as incredibly ironic, but I will have to tell you the story about the time I tried to make your lemon meringue pie recipe a few years back and could NOT get the meringue to fluff for the life of me another time.
I will say this: I panicked. Is the curd ruined, I wondered with despair. I even considered if I could somehow dash out to the coop and convince the hens to lay another half-dozen eggs. Pronto.
It seemed unlikely.
I paused to frantically Google: My curd turned into meringue.
More Googling: What do you do if you curd turns into meringue?
Still no answer. Just a bunch of curd recipes.
And Martha, I will say this: all the other curd recipes used just egg yolks. Your recipe used three entire eggs (whites and yolks) plus three yolks. Are you sure those egg whites really belong in this recipe? I have a hunch they were part of my problem…
Lucky for me, my curd seemed to unfoam a bit while I was Googling for some sort of insight into my situation. I decided to risk and proceed. Good call on my part, as more whisking seemed to allow a curd to emerge and my blood pressure to lower.
All was not lost. Close call though.
Lucky for me, the
raspberry strawberry loaf cake came out looking okay (although I haven’t tasted it yet). I added some color to the icing by throwing a handful of fresh raspberries into the mix, which resulted in a lovely magenta color. I fully intended to use the rest of the carton to garnish the cake, but I ended up eating them all instead while I was stirring the icing (that took forever, by the way).
And the jasmine shortbread cakes with the grapefruit curd? They came out looking pretty good, too.
You want to know the bad news, Martha? Other than my near heart attack this morning?
I spent the entire day making curd, baking, and washing dishes. And now I have no time left to exercise. The knitters about to arrive in full force!