Monday, March 16, 2009

Lemon Curd

Traditionally lemon curd is served with scones. It has so many more uses than just an accompaniment to scones. Even just by the spoonful, it can be justified! It is so mouth wateringly addicting. It's just the right amount of acid mixed with sweet, and a wonderfully creamy and smooth texture. Even my husband who isn't a big fan of anything lemon kept coming back for more! If you've never made lemon curd before, it's very simple and so rewarding. As for other uses, you can put it into a tart shell (great for mini tartlets and bake it at 350 just for about 10 minutes to set the top) and serve it with some berries and freshly whipped cream for a great summer dessert. As strawberries are in season it makes a wonderful addition to a shortcake. Fold some lemon curd into some freshly whipped cream before topping the shortcakes. You don't have to stick with just lemon either. You can use different juices in place of the lemon. Passion fruit is a personal favorite of mine. You can do a combination of lemon and lime, or if you have some key limes, they would make a wonderfully fragrant curd. Even though grapefruits are on their way out of season, they are also a wonderful choice. Curd can be a great filling for cakes, or an equally welcome accompaniment to something like an anglefood cake along with some fresh berries. Hopefully I've inspired you enough to give it a try.

Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd (makes about 3 cups)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 5 lemons)
Zest of 2 lemons
3 large eggs
5 large egg yolks
1 3/4 cup sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter

There are two ways to make lemon curd, by putting a heatproof bowl over simmering water (indirect heat) or just in a pan on direct heat. The second option, I would recommend to anyone who has had experience cooking custard based sauces (like creme anglaise)*. Using a mixing bowl over the pan of simmering water is the safer method(to prevent your eggs from scrambling). Either way you choose, mix the eggs with the sugar, add the lemon juice and zest whisking to combine everything in a heatproof bowl. You want to stir with a rubber spatula continuously until it thickly coats the spatula or until you can see that it has thickly coated the side of the bowl. It should have the consistency of a thin pudding. Strain the curd into a clean bowl (to catch any small bits of cooked egg) and whisk in the butter. Cover with plastic wrap and cool. This mixture can be kept in the refrigerator for a few weeks.

*If cooking the mixture over direct heat, mix the ingredients into a thick bottomed pan and cook over very low heat, using a plastic spatula to stir, making sure to get all parts of the pan.

Lemon Curd

1 comment:

Nada said...

Very beautiful blog...I like it..