Candlemas Lefse and Lemon Curd
"Candlemas is celebrated forty days after Christmas, on February 2nd, and commemorates the Feast of Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, also known as the Purification of Mary. These forty days are twofold: the first reason being that Mary and Joseph presented their firstborn son, Jesus, in the Temple in Jerusalem forty days after his birth. This is also the timeframe that a woman needed to be purified after birth. For Catholics, Candlemas also marks the end of the Christmas season in the traditional calendar.
It is customary on Candlemas to bless candles that will be used throughout the liturgical year in the parish and in the home. The candlelight is significant in that it represents the last feast of the season of light and represents an outward and visible sign of Christ who illumines our hearts.
For many, February 2nd is also Groundhog Day, determining whether winter will continue for an additional six weeks. I live in the area in which the 1993 film with Bill Murray by the same name was filmed, so Groundhog Day is a big deal here! What I love most about this day though is the promise of Spring. In the Midwest, we are still often battling frigid temperatures and snow. But by February I'm ready to get seeds started inside and moved into the greenhouse as soon as possible. Lemon recipes at this time of year remind me of warmer, hands in the dirt, sunny days ahead. Lemon curd is super simple to make and only uses four ingredients. It can be used as a filling in cakes or pies, in layered desserts like parfaits, or my favorite as a spread on toast, English muffins, and lefse.
Lefse is soft Norwegian flatbread made out of mashed potatoes. In a move that would appall my ancestors, I use instant mashed potato flakes. In France, crepes are traditionally served on Candlemas. Their round shape and golden color symbolizes the sun, and warmer days to come. As a proper Scandinavian growing up in Minnesota, lefse, though a little heavier than crepes, represents the same thing. I love the contrast of the heaviness of the lefse against the lightness of the lemon curd. It reminds me that following the long winter, spring will come. The light, the sun, and the Son will come again." (Elizabeth Baker, Catholic Mama's Liturgical Living)
I am so honored to have Elizabeth share her recipe for the feast of Candlemas. She is one of the women who manages Catholic Mama's Liturgical Living, a Facebook group that creates community and practical support for women seeking to bring the liturgical year to life in their home. A big, warm thank you for being a guest contributor at Liturgy Kitchen.
(candlemas lefse and lemon curd)
Lemon Curd Prep Time: 10 minutes
Lemon Curd Cook Time: 10 minutes
Lemon Curd Yields: 1 Cup
Lefse Prep Time: 10 minute and overnight chilling
Lefse Bake Time: 15 minutes
Lefse Yields: 8-10 Pieces
Lemon Curd Ingredients
3/4 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
Juice and zest of three lemons
6 tablespoons cold butter
Whisk sugar, eggs, and egg yolks in a heavy bottom saucepan until light pale yellow
Add juice and zest
Cook over low to medium heat until thick and bubbly, 5-7 minutes
Pour mixture through fine-mesh sieve
Stir in butter one tablespoon at a time until melted
The curd will thicken as it cools
Store in refrigerator
1 1/2 cups instant mashed potato flakes
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup water (approximately)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour
Mix salt and potato flakes in a medium sized bowl
Put butter in a 1/2 cup measuring cup and add water to cup to fill
Place is small saucepan and bring to a boil
Pour over potatoes and mix with a fork
Add milk and flour and mix thoroughly
Cover with plastic wrap and cool for about one hour
After cooled roll into 1 1/2 inch sized balls
Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight
On a floured surface roll thinly with a rolling pin
Cook on skillet or griddle over medium to high heat, approximately 1 minutes each side until there are light brown spots
Check out this delicious food! We're eagerly anticipating the opportunity to present a heartfelt meal for the celebration of Candlemas.
Did you make this recipe? If so, we would love to see it. Drop a picture in the comment or send it to us on social media.
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