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Lemon Curd…the End of the Lemons

You know how there are some foods you never get enough of? We have all seen the shameless shrimp hoarder block the path to the ice sculpture at a cocktail party so that he can try to get “enough;” the same often happens with (good) caviar, and those shrimp-fried-in-coconut things that are popular appetizers. I am personally despondent when I see the bottom of a plate of handmade pasta, the last cracker full of chopped liver, and the bay full of oysters behind me as I leave the Gulf Coast for the season.

I also feel that way about lemon curd. In case you have never had lemon curd, I will tell you that there is no way angels are in heaven eating Philadelphia Cream Cheese; they are eating lemon curd. Unlimited quantities of lemon curd. Its actually, technically a custard, and it is silky, and tart and sweet and rich. If you’ve ever had a lemon bar, or lemon cream pie, its like the filling for those things only potentially more dense and intensely flavored.

If you have a jar of lemon curd in the house (and if you can refrain from eating it out of the jar with a spoon) you have many possibilities. These uses include, but are not limited to:

  1. Spread for toast, scones or muffins
  2. A layer in a trifle with cake and berries
  3. A topping for slices of plain pound cake, sponge cake or Angel Food cake
  4. Filling sandwiched between two of your favorite plain, thin butter cookies
  5. Filling for tiny, pre-baked tart shells, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of lemon zest

Although I have used a number of different recipes in the past, many of which seemed to create unnecessary stress and use of kitchen implements, I discovered that my copy of The Bon Appetit Cookbook had a simple lemon curd recipe as part of the instructions for a “Lemon curd and blueberry trifle.” It worked beautifully, used up all the lemons (except the one Sam is saving for some reason) and now sits in my refrigerator making me feel that if a hunting party from Yorkshire dropped by for tea, I would be thoroughly prepared.

Lemon Curd

(Adapted from The Bon Appetit Cookbook)

  1. 1 1/3 cups sugar
  2. 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into slices
  3. 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  4. 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  5. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  6. 5 large eggs, beaten to blend

Combine first five ingredients in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves.

Remove from heat. Gradually whisk in eggs.

Whisk constantly over medium low heat until curd thickens; do not let it reach a boil. Depending on a variety of factors including humidity and the size of your eggs, this may take anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes, or more. (If you have an immersion blender or hand mixer, that may be your best bet). Curd is ready when it is about the texture of a heavy white sauce; you will feel it thicken, and be briefly able to see marks left by your whisk.

Strain curd through a sieve into jars (or a bowl, if you’re going to use it soon) and refrigerate.

I will miss my lemons, but they will live on in their transfigured states, changed by the magic of cooking into preserved lemons and lemon curd….

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About imagineannie

I feel like I'm fifteen - does that count? I'm lots of things, I get paid to be the Managing Editor for a local news publication, and I love my job. I am also inordinately fond of reading, animals (I have four), elephants, owls, hedgehogs writing, tramping in the woods, cooking India, Ireland, England, avocado toast, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, Little Women, Fun Home, Lumber Janes, Fangirl, magic, Neil Gaiman, Jane Austen, YA books, not YA books, classical music, Salinger (OMG SALINGER), Brahms, key lime pie, indie music, podcasts, sleeping in, road trips, marmalade, museums, bookstores, the Oxford comma, BBC, The Miss Fisher Mysteries, birdwatching, seashells, kombucha, and stickers. Not a huge fan of chewing gum, jazz, trucker hats or dystopian and/or post-apolcalyptic fiction (but I'll try anything).

8 responses »

  1. i wonder if it can be canned, annie? how lovely it would be to see an entire shelf full of lemon curd shining out at you from the pantry!

    Reply
  2. Lemon curd is the nectar of the gods… sigh. It would surprise me at all if it were not the secret to lasting happiness. Why doctors aren’t prescribing daily doses of lemon curd — I’ll never know. Hook me up with an IV of the stuff!

    Have a great day! I’m off to visit Jayedee, that wonderful and amazing lady!

    Blessings!
    Lacy

    Reply
  3. jayedee, I don’t know – my friend Alice and I are going to try canning this summer, but I’ve never done it before. Would there be a problem because of the dairy ingredients?!

    Lacy, I wish I could come. I used up my stash before I could make your cake, but now thar I have the recipe I am going to have to just bite the bullet and buy some lemons so that I can make it. As for the Curd Cure, I totally agree; I think it contains all the ingredients necessary for longevity. Well, maybe except for all of the butter and sugar.

    Reply
  4. that sounds wonderful
    and i love lemon curd as you might expect…

    but did you have to go and mention chopped liver for god’s sake? you’ve now ruined me for the next however long until i get some.

    damnit.

    Reply
  5. puh-leeze! butter is the lubricant that keeps everything running smoothly……..and sugar? well sugar is just soul food! yeah, that’s the ticket…….soul food!

    i’m sending the lemon curd recipe to our county home economist……she’ll be able to tell me if it’s can-able or not and if any modifications need to be made first.

    Reply
  6. claudia, I grew up eating chopped liver as made by my grandmother and her sisters. I remember finding the jars of schamlz absolutely repellant, but being told that without that stuff, the chopped liver wouldn’t be what it was. My grandmother is long gone, her remaining sister is 96 and no longer cooking, and I haven’t had chopped liver anywhere else that tasted right to me. I think I have to get the recipe from my mom, and make some at her house. She’ll eat it with me….

    jayedee, you’re right, and you make me feel much better about eating cottage cheese with lemon curd in it for lunch. Let me know what you find out about the canning?

    Reply
  7. Hi imagineannie,

    That curd looks awesome. I wish I had some now actually. I have such a sweet tooth. It’s my achille’s heel.

    Jayedee said you had some extra fine recipes on your site today. She was right.

    jolynna

    Reply
  8. jolynna, its good to have you back! As for what jayedee said, I’d be modest, but you know, jayedee is ALWAYS right…..

    Reply

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