Monday, June 3, 2013

Easy Lemon Curd From Scratch

Although I've mentioned Lemon Curd in this blog before, I've never given you the recipe.

That must be corrected!

Lemon Curd is one of the delights of an afternoon tea. It is a rich, thick sauce, beautifully balanced between a fresh, bright taste (thanks to lemons and lemon zest) and a decadently silky texture (thanks to eggs and butter).

It is also ridiculously easy to make. Zest and juice lemons:

Add them into a saucepan with some butter, sugar, and a bit of salt:

Pour in beaten eggs and egg yolks:

Cook and stir until the mixture coats the back of a spoon, and a finger drawn through the coating leaves a clear track:

Strain the cooked sauce through a fine sieve into a bowl:

The sieve catches all the little curdled bits:

What goes through the sieve is a sweet, silky, rich, bright sauce, bursting with lemony/buttery flavor:

Chill it in little jars (I like to portion it out to friends, so I always keep little jars around for just such a purpose):

And you have a sweet, decadent topping for English muffins or scones. You can spread it on toast, or spoon a fat dollop into those tiny, prebaked pastry shells for a wonderful treat:

Yummy! I guarantee you're going to love this.

I am fairly sure I got this recipe from the Los Angeles Times about a million and a half years ago. The original clipping is definitely cut from a newspaper, and I think I recognize the typeface as LA Times. So, I'm going with that as my source.

Lemon Curd
(from the Los Angeles Times?)

2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. lemon juice
zest of one lemon*
6 Tbsp. cold butter, cut in pieces

(If you have a double boiler, use it for this recipe. If you don't, don't fret! You'll just have to watch the pot more carefully to be sure the sauce doesn't go all curdly.)

Beat eggs, yolks, salt, and sugar in small saucepan until smooth and light colored. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, and butter; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until butter melts, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking until curd is thick enough that it coats the back of a spoon, and when you draw your finger across the curd, it leaves a definite track, about 5 minutes. Curd should be as thick as a thick Hollandaise sauce. Pour through a fine strainer into a chilled bowl. Keep covered in refrigerator.

Makes about 1-1/4 cups lemon curd. Each 1-tablespoon serving contains: 65 calories, 72 mg sodium; 58 mg cholesterol, 5 grams fat; 6 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram protein; 0 fiber.

*I learned this the hard way: Zest the lemon before you juice it. It's much easier to remove zest from an intact lemon than from a floppy lemon rind half!

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