Storey editor Carleen Madigan demonstrates the art of making the most of what you’ve got.

Candied lemon peel and lemon curd make great holiday gifts or ingredients for winter treats.

Candied lemon peel and lemon curd make great holiday gifts or ingredients for winter treats.

Last week, a few of us gathered on a dreary, wintry day around a Weck jar filled with sunny lemon curd, straight from the home kitchen of editor Carleen Madigan. As we peppered her with questions about her process, she revealed that she’d put every part of her lemons to use as she made her curd — candying the peel, which she plans to use in her holiday panettone (more on that later), and saving the lemony simple syrup from the candying process. Of course, to my mind, it all seemed like the perfect winter blog post: how to make the most of a bag of lemons. And while we’re on the subject of citrus, let it be said that birthday parties at Storey are pretty great. It’s not unusual for food and drink offerings to include at least one homemade item from the bevy of talented cooks, bakers, and beverage-makers that work here.

Carleen’s sunny lemon curd

Carleen’s sunny lemon curd

Carleen used this recipe for lemon curd and notes that, despite the recipe’s promise of “fool-proof,” her curd still curdled a bit. (We certainly couldn’t tell, in tasting it.) If it happens to you, never fear! You can strain out any lumps.

This candied lemon peel is panettone-bound.

This candied lemon peel is panettone-bound.

She used this recipe for her candied lemon peel, and suggests you can avoid a bitter outcome by removing as much pith as possible without letting the peel lose its structure.

And if you’re holding onto that simple syrup, here’s one final recipe adjustment: Carleen bumped up the recipe’s recommended amount of fruit, adding an extra lemon and its extra juice to the simple syrup to cut down on sweetness. Save that simple syrup for flavoring seltzer or favorite winter cocktails that could use a hint of citrus.

A jar of homemade lemon curd or treats punctuated with candied peel you made yourself also make lovely gift ideas. Happy making!

Emily Spiegelman

Emily is the editorial production manager at Storey. Though she has deep New England roots, she currently makes her home on a regenerative bison ranch… See Bio

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