Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lemon Curd

I was always under the impression that making lemon curd was really difficult and that there was no way I could make it myself. Luckily, I decided to give homemade lemon curd a try. Turns out it's not that hard to make and it tasted so good that I actually ate a couple spoonfuls out of the jar. If you're not sure what to do with lemon curd, just think of it as a spread that can be used like jam. It's great on scones, spread in between cake layers or meringues, or used as the basis of a lemony dessert (like the LA Times' lemon curd pecan bars). This homemade version can be stored in your fridge up to a week. It does make a lot, so I like to give some away. I've found that my friends love getting a little jar of lemon curd, especially since it's not something most people have stashed in their kitchens.

When I was looking for recipes, I realized a lot required more egg yolks than egg whites (generally speaking, I have enough egg whites in my freezer, so I try using whole eggs where possible). This one uses the entire egg and doesn't leave your kitchen full of half used items. I am also a fan of most recipe I find at She presents all her desserts in ways that seem doable, even if the end result looks like it was made by a pro. When making this, make sure you use fresh lemon juice. The bottle stuff won't cut it for lemon curd. Also, zest the lemons before you juice them so you don't end up needing as many lemons.

Recipe from Joy of Baking
Makes 1 1/2 cups

3 large eggs
3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar
1/3 cup (80 ml) fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon finely shredded lemon zest

Place a stainless steel bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. In the bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until combined. Cooking this mixture, stirring constantly, until it begins to thicken (it will have the consistency of sour cream or a hollandaise sauce). It will take about 10 minutes to achieve this consistency. If you have a candy thermometer, it will be 160F or 71C. Once thickened, remove from heat straight away. Pour mixture through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Cut the butter into small pieces. Mix it into the mixture until it has melted. Add the lemon zest and stir. Let it cool (it will thicken more as it cools). Cover the curd immediately with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and store in your fridge up to 1 week. Pin It Now!

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