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Lemon Curd Recipe

Lemon Curd Recipe

Lemon curd is a fancy word for a simple (and delicious) lemon custard.  If you like bold lemon flavor, this one’s for you… Curd is quite easy to make, the trick is to cook it very gently.  Use the heaviest pan you can find (cast iron is ideal), stir constantly and don’t let it boil or the eggs may scramble.  This sounds annoying but all it takes is a watchful eye and since the cooking time is so short it’s really not bad.  Make some today and add a bright punch to all kinds of summer treats!

Lemon Curd

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ½  cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon (about 1 Tablespoon)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 Tablespoons butter, cut into 12-15 pieces

Directions:

  • Combine the eggs and sugar in a medium sized saucepan (the heavier the better) and whisk until noticeably lighter in color, about 2 minutes
  • Add the juice, zest and salt and whisk until smooth
  • Place the saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and stir constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, approximately 5-7 minutes.  Cook gently and do not boil or the eggs will scramble! (Easy spoon test: Dip a spoon in the curd, pull it out and use your finger to draw a line through the curd on the back of the spoon.  If the curd stays parted, it’s ready.  If it recedes back towards the center it needs a bit more time).
  • Pour into covered container(s) and place in the fridge to cool (it’ll thicken more as it cools).
  • Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Notes:

  • Serving suggestions: Lemon curd is most commonly served atop fresh berries and roasted nuts or used as a spread for biscuits or scones.  My favorite use is mixed into plain yogurt or vanilla ice cream (both of these mixtures also make a delicious popsicle).  It could also be used between layers of a cake or mixed with cream cheese or whipped cream to make frosting.  YUM!
  • Substitutions:
    • This recipe uses whole eggs instead of just egg yolks simply because it’s cheaper and still makes a good curd.  For a richer, more traditional lemon curd, substitute 6 egg yolks for the 3 whole eggs.
    • Curd can be made with pretty much any citrus fruit.  Feel free to swap the lemons for limes, grapefruits, oranges, etc.
    • I like my curd to be tart and not too sweet.  If you prefer sweeter desserts, increase the sugar to 1/2 cup.  You can also substitute honey or another sweetener of choice.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/libbyandnicki/6871305835/

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