May 21, 2009

Homemade Lemon Curd

I prefer homemade lemon curd to store bought for a few reasons. I think that it tastes richer and creamier. I prefer to use farm fresh eggs and organic butter. And, I often make it when I have excess egg yolks from another recipe. One of my best friends is having a birthday today. Because she enjoys meringue buttercream frosting on a white cake with lemon curd filling, it was a perfect time to bring out the whisk.

Many people are intimidated by making curds; I know I was when I first made lemon curd. I wished I had been able to take more photos of the process for you all, but it is a hands on kind of recipe. I hope that the information and photos I was able to take will be helpful when you decide to give it a try.

All right, you are probably asking yourself, “How is this a cost effective recipe?” I now prefer to make homemade cakes and fillings because I can control the quality of the ingredients, and it seems so much more special to give someone something fresh and made with your own hands. I have bought cakes at cake shops, and I have left with sticker shock. Anytime I can use up something that could otherwise go to waste (in this case the extra egg yolks), can save a little money as compared to what I could buy at a shop, and can let a friend know that I think she’s very special, I call it a deal.

Makes about 2 cups worth.
· 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 4-5 lemons)
· Zest of 2 lemons
· 2 large eggs
· 7 large egg yolks
· 3/4 cup sugar
· 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Place lemon juice and zest in a small bowl to soften zest, about 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a nonreactive heatproof bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, and sugar until well combined. Add lemon juice and zest and continue whisking until just combined.

3. Set bowl over (but not touching) simmering water. If it touches the water, you will end up with scrambled eggs. Continuously stir mixture with a heatproof spatula until mixture has thickened to a pudding-like texture, about 10 minutes.

4. Remove bowl from heat and whisk in butter until melted. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a large bowl. Cover lemon curd with a sheet of plastic wrap, pressing plastic wrap onto the surface of the lemon curd to prevent a skin from forming. This lasts in the refrigerator for a few weeks. It is delicious in a tart shell, on toast or biscuits, or as a filling for cakes. Yummy!

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