Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lemon Curd

This is the recipe I use most often as it uses quite a few eggs (a good thing around here!) and makes enough to share.

2½ cups superfine sugar*
½ cup lemon zest (freshly zested)
1 cup lemon juice (note that bottled juice may contain sulfites)
¾ cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into approximately ¾" pieces
7 large egg yolks
4 large whole eggs

* If superfine sugar is not available, run granulated sugar through a grinder or food processor for 1 minute, let settle, and use in place of superfine sugar.

Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl, stir to mix, and set aside about 30 minutes.

Heat water in the bottom pan of a double boiler or medium-sized metal bowl, until it boils gently. The water should not boil vigorously nor touch the bottom of the top double-boiler pan or bowl in which the curd is to be cooked.

In the top section of the double boiler, beat the egg yolks and whole eggs thoroughly but lightly with the whisk. Slowly whisk in the sugar and zest, blending until well mixed so that the mixture is not lumpy. Blend in the lemon juice and then add
the butter pieces to the mixture.

Place the pan over the boiling water in the bottom pan. Stir gently but continuously with a silicone spatula to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking until the mixture thickens and will coat a metal spoon (about 8 minutes) or till the mixture reaches a temperature of 170°F.

Remove the double boiler pan from the heat. Continue to stir gently until the curd thickens (about 5 minutes). Strain curd through a mesh strainer if desired to remove zest. (I usually leave it in. This step will also remove any cooked egg bits that show up.)

Allow the curd to cool to room temperature. To prevent a ‘surface skin’
from forming while it cools, place a clean piece of plastic food wrap down onto the surface of the curd or cover the bowl. (I store mine in glass jars with a glass lid and wire bail.)

Refrigerate up to 4 weeks or fill freezer container(s), leaving ½-inch headspace, and freeze up to 1 year. To thaw, place freezer container in refrigerator for 24 hours.

Taunton Press, publishers of one of my favorite magazines -- Threads, gives a recipe it calls foolproof that sounds pretty good, too. I have to admit, the first time I made lemon curd, I had to strain it tho now I don't have that problem. Same recipe so I think it was my technique that needed work but if you have any fears about ending up with bits of cooked egg in your curd, try this recipe from "Fine Cooking."


Holly said...

Thanks for this recipe. I just made it and it's delicious. I've never even thought of making lemon curd before. Btw. Love your blog. I just found it and it's now in my favorites. I made the pound cake the other day too and it was to die for. I don't think I can ever have too many eggs now.

Carolyn at Walnut Spinney said...

So glad you like the lemon curd and pound cake! Until we had chickens I never really thought about making my own lemon curd but now I always have a jar on the shelf. (The National Center for Home Food Preservation now gives water bath directions for canning lemon and lime curd.)

Makes it easy to give the appearance of gracious living ;) when we have (unexpected) company...