Classic Lemon Curd

IMG_3075 (575x508)I don’t always make ice cream or sorbet when the weather’s hot.  Sometimes, I make lemon curd!

You know how one thing leads to another?  Well, I had a huge container of blueberries from Costco; and that led me down a very merry blueberry path.  In addition to Roger and I enjoying our morning oatmeal topped with blueberries, I made a scrumptious blueberry tea loaf and then some fabulous blueberry scones (recipe coming).  As I was eating a blueberry scone, I thought it would be very nice topped with some lemon curd.  Once I got it in my head, that was that.

Boy, I wish I had bought a bunch of lemons at Costco as my local supermarket has been selling lemons at 99 cents each.  Ouch!  With lemons in hand, I made a batch of luscious, creamy, puckery curd.  In case you’re not familiar with curd, it’s basically lemon pudding without any milk or cream in it.  You make a custard similar to the base for pudding or ice cream.  The curd is thick and creamy—absolutely frantastic!  Your spoon will just glide its way from the bowl to your mouth all too easily.  It’s sweet and tart at the same time; and, though you might like to, it’s really not meant to eat a bowlful at a time.  Curd is meant to be used as a topping to complement desserts such as cakes or scones or used as a dip for fruit.

So, I made this batch of lemon curd—but, by the time I had finished it, the last scone was gone.  Hmm…  A quick trip to the store remedied that dilemma.  Strawberries were on sale, and I came home with a huge container of them.  What a fabulous combo!  I couldn’t get enough curd on a strawberry by just dipping it, so I resorted to popping a strawberry in my mouth followed by a spoonful of curd.  Such bliss!

The lemon curd ran out before the strawberries did, though, so that led me to making another batch of strawberry sorbet.  And on and on, I go…

One year ago:  Mar-A-Lago Turkey Burger

Two years ago:  Watermelon Lemonade

Three years ago:  Fig and Goat Cheese Pizza with Prosciutto and Arugula

Four years ago:  Grilled Corn and Tomato – Sweet Onion Salad

Five years ago:  Grandmommy’s Eggs

Classic Lemon Curd

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Ingredients

IMG_3015 (575x410)

  • 6 tbl. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3-4 large lemons)
  • 1 to 2 tsp. grated lemon zest

Directions

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl for 2 to 3 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is pale and fluffy.  Add in the eggs and egg yolks and beat for 1 minute.  Beat in the lemon juice.  The mixture will look curdled when you add the lemon juice, but don’t worry!

IMG_3024 (575x383)IMG_3026 (575x383)It will smooth out as the butter melts while cooking.

Pour the mixture into a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat, stirring constantly, over low heat until the mixture looks smooth.  Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the temperature on a candy or instant-read thermometer reads 170o F and the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon (about 8 to10 minutes*), being careful not to let the mixture boil.  It will still seem thinner than store-bought lemon curd at this point, because it thickens as it cools.

IMG_3037 (575x384)*The original recipe on Fine Cooking said to cook the curd for 15 minutes.  Willow Bird Baking’s directions called for 8 to 10 minutes.  I did keep the heat low for mine and found that my curd was properly thickened in 5 minutes.  Do keep a constant eye on it as it will cook and thicken faster than you’d think.

Transfer the mixture to a shallow bowl and stir in the lemon zest.  Press plastic wrap to the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming.  Chill for several hours until thick and cold.

IMG_3057 (575x421)Variations

For lime curd, substitute fresh lime juice and zest for the lemon.

IMG_3081 (575x520)Source:   A recipe from Fine Cooking via Willow Bird Baking

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