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Lemon Curd, a.k.a. Sunshine in Your Mouth

April 13, 2012
Butter Melted

Are you ready for tangy lemony goodness? I recently discovered lemon curd and am in LOVE! But, I won’t pay $8 for the good kind from the megamart so…. Here’s a recipe I modified to my taste (and hopefully yours too). It has five simple everyday ingredients and only needs a few pieces of kitchen equipment. The only skill you need is stirring, sounds easy enough, right?  Try it out and see:

 

Ingredients

Butter in Pieces

Butter in Pieces

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (3ish lemons worth), Don’t use bottled! And get 4 lemons just to be sure you’ll have enough (see note below to alleviate those worries)
  • 1 Tablespoon (packed) lemon zest (see note below)
  • 3 eggs beaten – room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup sugar

 

First things first: I learned a super easy and effective way to juice citrus from my friend DJ’s mom (she makes the BEST lemon ice box pie evah!).  Roll the lemon on a hard surface, back and forth with your palm. You’ve seen this, everyone know this… but THEN put it in the microwave for 15 seconds.  Tah-dah, all the juice the lemon has will easily release and you will be rewarded with lots of juice, and less hassle.

 

You’ll notice zest is on the ingredients list too.  The easiest way I’ve found to get the zest without the pith is a micro plane.  If you don’t have one of these get one immediately – seriously – get up from

Butter Melted

Butter Melted

your computer and get thee to the big box store of your choice and purchase one now.  They are relatively inexpensive but worth their weight in gold.  Gold I say! Why? Because you can use them for so many things.  Grate your fresh nutmeg to give those creamy sauces a scrumptious depth. Grate fresh garlic cloves into everything you cook. Grate your fresh ginger (store it in the freezer so it keeps for months – you can grate it straight from its frozen state!) into your Asian dishes.  Zest lemons, limes and oranges without disturbing the bitter pith.  It works so much easier than those 4-5 holed brass knuckles on a stick looking things that people call zesters. Trust me, this piece of equipment is not a uni-tasker and is definitely worth the investment.

 

Construct yourself a double boiler by pouring 2 inches of water into a pot (I use a 2qt) and bring to a simmer over low heat and placing a glass bowl on top that fits without going all the way down to the water.

Incidentally, a double boiler is a perfect way to melt chocolate for dipping. It allows the chocolate to stay warm through the complete process and doesn’t take the chance of scorching it like the microwave does.  Get a phone call in the middle of dipping strawberries? No problem, chat it up and get back to it when you can and *gasp* it’s just how you left it – not needing to be reheated for the umpteenth time like the microwaving method.

 

But I digress. Dump everything (for the lemon curd, not chocolate strawberries) in the glass bowl and mix – juice and zest, eggs, butter, salt and sugar.

 

Stir constantly with a heatproof spatula (the new silicone ones are my favorite) until all the butter has melted, the sugar has dissolved and mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, 20 to 25 minutes. Don’t bring it all the way to a boil; you’ll have scrambled eggs in your lemony mess. Now, you don’t have to exert a herculean effort over here… just make a figure eight shape slowly, making contact with the bottom of the bowl.  Check the water occasionally to make sure it isn’t touching the bowl and that there is enough left. You may have to adjust the stove eye setting.

Set a fine-meshed strainer over the bowl you are going to store the curd in. Pour through sieve into bowl; press plastic wrap onto surface of mixture. This removes any clumps and accidental scrambled

Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd

egg pieces. Chill overnight.

 

This keeps 1 week in the fridge. Now put it on everything. It’s great with strawberries, on cake or as a cake filling, part of a pudding, place it in a small tart shell and top with whipped cream. Anything!  Or just eat it with a spoon. I won’t tell!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 5, 2012 8:55 AM

    I’d have to agree with you about microplanes. My sister gave me one and I use it for everything – don’t forget light fluffy parmesan to go on your pasta dishes 🙂
    Lemon curd is lovely and as you say, why buy it when it is so easy to make? One of my uses for it is in lemon macarons. (http://oldschoolgeneralist.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/lemon-macarons/)

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