Recipe “Friday”: Homemade Lemon Curd
Posted October 23, 2010on:
(Indeed, Recipe Friday became Saturday this week. Life happens sometimes, eh? But this week, I got to “meet”—well, come within 10 feet of, and listen to, Doc Willoughby of America’s Test Kitchen (and formerly Gourmet)! Way cool! And an interesting mix of foodies and test-kitchen-wannabe’s at the talk…)
Lemon curd. I remember looking deep into my grandmother’s cupboards and seeing the old, unopened jar, ingredient list full of unpronounceables. And when I tasted it, it was all right, but not the ambrosia one would expect from an unctuous lemon dessert sauce.
Earlier this year, I set out to make my own lemon curd with help from a few cookbooks. The fresh stuff (for use within a week!) only needs four ingredients: fresh lemon juice, eggs, sugar, and unsalted butter. That’s it!
But wait, you say. This is a healthy food blog. What’s so healthy about those ingredients? First of all, what’s the point of living if you don’t have something sinful every now and then? (And this stuff has so much flavor that you don’t need much.) Secondly, this sauce goes great
slathered drizzled on fresh fruit as a dessert—there’s a great healthy finale for any meal! In fact, last night, I made it for some friends drizzled on chunks of honeycrisp apples, and the two different qualities of tartness were such a wonderful contrast!
adapted from Vegetarian Planet
1 c white sugar
2/3 c fresh lemon juice (use Meyer lemons if in season… trust me!!)
½ stick (1/4 c ) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1. Whisk the eggs until smooth. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a small pot. (Thanks to foodie friend Mike for the strainer tip: it gets rid of any excess membrane from the outside of the yolk and makes the curd smooth like butta!) Add the cup of sugar to the pot and continue to whisk. Add the lemon juice and keep on whisking. Turn on the heat to medium. You haven’t stopped whisking, have you?
2. Keep cooking and whisking constantly for 5 minutes, or a little longer, until the mixture thickens considerably. Then, remove your pan from the heat, and whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, allowing each piece to melt.
3. Allow your curd to cool to room temperature (if you can stand it!!!) before serving. It’s great over fruit (berries in the summer, especially!) and super-rich but tasty with shortbread cookies. Store it in your fridge, and use it within a week.
I’m going to try mixing some in plain yogurt soon, maybe making a parfait with granola (everybody loves parfaits!), it would be great swirled into some homemade vanilla ice cream if I trust myself to break out the ice cream maker…
What are you going to do with your lemon curd, now that you know how easy it is to make? (Hey, I’m thinking of branching out and going for lime curd, cranberry curd, pomegranate curd… why not?)