Friday, May 14, 2010

Lemon curd

Poor lemon curd- doesn't really sound very pleasant does it? But it's delicious. Ohhhh soo delicious.

I decided to make lemon curd even though I didn't really have a "reason" to make it.  I mean there are a lot of recipes in the book that call for lemon curd, so I'll likely try one of them soon.  But I figured since I was on my spree I'd just continue baking up a storm and make a wild card recipe.

Perhaps I should gamble more often because this one definitely paid off.

If you're not familiar with curd, the author describes it as a tangy custard made with butter instead of milk.  It's like a tart (thick) lemon pudding, but can be used in many ways like a jam. So I can imagine it would be delicious on toast/English muffins or swirled in some yogurt. Or on a spoon that I stick directly into my mouth.


This stuff is seriously good.

The process of making lemon curd is very similar to making creme anglaise.  Basically you are cooking the eggs very very slowly to turn them into a thick custard (instead of scrambled eggs). It even uses the same spoon trick: you know the curd is done when you can draw your finger across the back of a spoon and the streak remains.

When you first start heating the eggs the liquid doesn't even coat the spoon.


As you slowly heat the mixture it gets thicker.


Finally, when it reaches ~160 degrees, it's done! (You seriously don't even need a thermometer. You can just tell because the curd takes on a thick, almost jam-like consistency.)


So simple and delicious, and it lasts for a month in the fridge. I have a feeling I'll be making lemon and orange curds a lot more often...

Buen Provecho,
Jackie

Lemon Curd, from Luscious Lemon Desserts

Ingredients

1 stick butter
¾ cup sugar
½ cup lemon juice
3 TBSP lemon zest
pinch salt
6 large egg yolks

Directions

1. Melt the butter in heavy saucepan over medium-low heat.

2. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sugar, lemon juice, zest and salt. Whisk in the yolks until smooth.

3. Cook mixture, whisking constantly, until it thickens and leaves a path on the back of a wooden spoon when the finger is drawn across it (~160 degrees); do not allow mixture to boil.

4. Immediately pour the lemon curd through a strainer into a bowl. Let cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. (Curd lasts for 1 month in fridge and 3 months in the freezer.)

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