My eldest daughter is really into baking this year. She is always requesting to have a “lemonade” stand too. It has been a challenge to find quick and easy recipes that meet with her approval or a venue that is safe for her entrepreneurial and charitable spirit. Lemon Oat Bars have proven to be popular with her and the customers. Lemon curd bought from the store is not nearly as yummy as our version of lemon balm curd that is dairy free.
Lemon Balm Curd
2 cups of coarsely chopped lemon balm
3 cups of boiling water
1 cup of apple juice
2TBSP of rice wine vinegar
2 TBSP of fresh lemon juice
4 cups of sugar
1 packet of pectin
Place the herbs in the large pot of boiling water. Stir, turn off heat, and let steep for 60 minutes.
Strain out and discard the herbs
Add enough apple juice to bring your liquid amount up to 4 cups.
Add in the vinegar, lemon and sugar. Stir and slowly bring to a boil allowing the sugar to fully dissolve.
Bring to a rolling boil. Add in pectin and do not stir
After 1 minute remove from heat, skim and discard any foam. Strain out any lumps.
Pour liquid into jars, let cool completely and screw on lids.
Since you did not do a canning bath with the lemon balm curd you have to refrigerate the jars and use it up within 2-4 weeks. I like to give the “extra” as gifts. One jar is probably enough to do a batch of lemon bars. The curd can be used in place of jelly on bread, with cheese, or to fill baked goods.
You can use any recipe for Lemon Bars or oat bars filled with fruit. I am not including a recipe since we do a lot of substitutions. But I do recommend adding 1tsp of ground dried lavender flowers to the “flour” to give your bars a gourmet touch.
Historically lemon Balm/Melissa calms the heart and lifts the spirit. It is great herb for children who are anxious and struggle with nightmares. Our family enjoys it as a cold summer tea or in a hot bath before bed. This year I made a salve with it to treat cold sores.
Have you ever used unusual herbs in baked good? Were you pleased with the result?