Pat’s Scones And Lemon Curd

Here is the story behind some wonderful scones I first enjoyed at the coffee hour after worship service at our church.  Pat was serving scones with some sort of yellow pudding. When I asked for an explanation, she told me that what I called pudding was actually lemon curd, a topping made specifically to complement the scones.  My knowledge of curds consisted of the Mother Goose rhyme about Little Miss Muffat who ate something that I assumed resembled cottage cheese.

The curd that Pat offered me was a delicate smooth sauce that contributed a wonderful flavor to the scone I was devouring.

Here is Pat’s account of how she came to acquire the recipe.

“I went to Star Prairie Elementary and had six great classmate friends.  We went through the grades together and graduated together.  Raising families, we were only able to keep in touch at Christmas.  At age sixty this particular friend suggested we start taking long weekend getaways up north.

We loved our time together!  Mornings were lounging, coffee, PJ times with great conversations.  Each of us brought breakfast and snack items.  This friend always brought these scones and lemon curd.  She shared her recipe and I have been making them ever since.

It is an especially cherished memory as she is no longer with us.”

Pat’s story is a good example of how recipes tie us together.  We share them with our neighbors, friends, relatives and children, and some of those recipes are preserved for future generations long after the people who first started the chain of a shared treasure are gone.


2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 square white chocolate, shaved

1/2 cup cold butter

1 large egg. beaten

1/2 cup Half & Half or whole milk

1/2 tsp. almond extract

Fruit of your choice (optional)

Extra sugar for garnish


Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl.  Shave the white chocolate and stir it into the flour mixture.  Beat the egg and blend it with the Half & Half or milk and almond extract.

Preheat the oven to 375º and grease a baking sheet.

Chop the butter into a quarter-inch dice and cut it into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the liquid ingredients and stir until the dough is barely moistened. 

If you wish, gently stir in about a half cup of fruit and lightly knead the dough for a few seconds.

Drop rounded tablespoons of batter on the baking sheet, sprinkle lightly with sugar and bake about twenty minutes until lightly browned. 


1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs

1 T light corn syrup

3/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter cut into chunks


Cut the butter into a half-inch dice.  Whisk the sugar and eggs together in a heavy saucepan.  Whisk in the lemon juice and syrup and stir in the butter.

Set the pan over medium-low heat and stir constantly until the curd thickens and a few small bubbles appear.  This will take eight to ten minutes.  Do not bring the curd to a boil.  Spoon and scrape the curd into two small jars or  plastic containers.  Press plastic wrap on the surface to prevent the formation of a skin on top.  Cool the containers and refrigerate or freeze them.  You will have enough curd for two batches of scones.  You can freeze the curd and keep it for up to a year.

NOTES:  Use fresh lemon juice for the curd, not lemon juice from concentrate.  Pat says that if she can’t find white chocolate squares, she uses about a half cup of white chocolate chips.  She also says that the curd freezes well, so you can save half for a second batch of scones.  Use very low heat to avoid scorching the curd.

Mom’s Sweet Refrigerator Pickles

We all liked pickles and Mom made gallons of them from the row of cucumbers we always had in the garden.  There were big cucumber dills four or five inches long that you ate right out of the crock in the basement, dill spears in quart jars for serving at the table and hamburger dill slices in pint jars.   Sometimes I think that Mom never saw a recipe that she did not want to try.  Thus we had mustard pickles, garlic pickles, kosher dills, and Texas hot pepper pickles. 

She made those treacherous hot pickles only once.  They kind of sneaked up on your taste buds.  Take a good bite and chew.  Pretty good peppery flavor, but all of a sudden you needed water or milk or maybe an ice cube to suck on.  Back then chili recipes using more than two teaspoons of chili powder were considered daring in our family and in the families of all my friends.  And even today ketchup is sometimes accurately described as Norwegian (or German) hot sauce.  

I don’t remember where she got those little red chili peppers to flavor those pickles, but they caused the problem.  Mom hated to throw anything away.  Since the pickles were too hot for her, and since Dad, my sisters and I snurled our noses at them whenever she put them on the table, she began offering them to friends who dropped in for coffee.  

“Try one of these new Texas pickles I made,” she would coo.  As I recall they were nice crisp pickles about three inches long.  After a couple of painful experiences in having to throw out a perfectly good pickle with only one end bitten off, she began cutting off half inch samples which most people found large enough.

“The recipe made eight quarts, so if you want a quart to take home, I’ll put it in a bag for you,” she would add generously.  There were no takers until Uncle Ruel tried them and cleaned up the dish.  Uncle Ruel was Mom’s oldest brother.  He had lived for several years on the south side of Chicago and in Gary, Indiana, which may have explained his fondness for strange foods.  He took home all seven remaining quarts, and we were saved.  

There were sweet pickles too.  Honey gherkins, sweet baby dills, bread and butter pickles, pickled beets, pickled watermelon rind and pickled crabapples–even pickled bluegills.  

One of our favorites was Mom’s sweet refrigerator pickles.   I don’t think that the recipe was written down, so the recipe would probably have been lost if my sister-in-law had not asked for it.   Dee wanted to know how to make them, since my brother liked them so much, and Mom wrote it out for her. 

They are crisp and delicious, and here’s how to make them.


4 to 5 lbs. cucumbers

1/2 cup canning or pickling salt


5 cups sugar

5 cups cider vinegar

1 T turmeric

1 T mustard seed

1 T celery seed


Wash and cut the cucumbers into eighth-inch round slices.  Soak the slices for three hours in a large bowl or enamel pot in a cold brine of salt and just enough ice water to cover the slices.  Add ice cubes as needed to keep the brine cold.  After three hours, drain the slices and pack them in jars.

Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a stainless steel or enamel saucepan.  Add the spices and bring the mixture to boiling.  Boil about one minute.  Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes then fill each jar to within a half-inch from the top.  Screw the lids firmly onto the jars, let them cool and store them in the refrigerator.  The pickles will be ready to eat in two weeks.


Do not use aluminum bowls or pans for the brining and pickling solutions.  These pickles will keep up to a year in your refrigerator.