Feeling French

Does anyone else just love France? 

Let's start with the language. French is the language of love - not as hot and flirty as Spanish but a little more refined and elegant. Think bouquets of roses and bottles of perfume over a dip in the pool and a steamy evening! Whilst it is difficult to learn, it sounds so beautiful; and let's face it, who doesn't love a Frenchman? (I've found a website if you're interested in brushing up on your français - it's got little games too!)

How about the country itself? France has all sorts of different places to visit - mountains, beaches, forests, canals… Each part of the country is known for a particular landscape, whether it be the Burgundy canals or the mountains in the east. You'll never run out of things to do and see!

And the history! For history nerds like me, France is a treasure trove. There's Paris, the setting for the famous revolutions, and Bayeux, which holds the Norman tapestry. There's also the Loire Valley, with châteaux and beautiful gardens, and you can experience the German influence in France in towns such as Strasbourg. 

Of course, this is a food blog; and in my opinion the food is one of the best things about France! I adore the patisseries, with their éclairs and macarons; fromageries and soft cheeses; boulangeries and crisp baguettes. Have you ever visited a market in Europe? The abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables is astounding. There, you'll find peppers as big as your head and baskets of juicy cherries and peaches. Go and experience the French way of life for yourself! 

This is not a French recipe. However, lemon curd goes very well with French food - namely, croissants. (It also tastes excellent on toast; but that's getting away from the subject!) 

Picture a buttery, flakey croissant, hot from the oven. Smother it with sharp, sweet spoonful of lemon curd and drink with hot coffee. Mmm!

This is a recipe that we make when we have spare egg yolks, possibly leftovers from a pavlova. The original recipe (Delia again!) calls for whole eggs, but it's worked out fine for us this way in the past. It's simpler and quicker than making a proper jam and though it will take some practice, once you've made this a few times you'll be a pro! 

Lemon Curd 
75g caster sugar
1 juicy lemon - juice and rind
2 egg yolks
50g unsalted butter

1. Put the lemon rind and sugar in a bowl. In another bowl whisk the lemon juice with the egg yolks and pour the mixture over the sugar. 

2. Add the butter in little cubes and place over a pan of simmering water. Stir frequently until it begins to thicken; make sure that all the sugar is dissolved! Be patient,

3. Pour into a jar and leave to cool. Keep in the fridge until needed.