Homemade Lemon Curd
It’s getting really cold here in San Jose. We had frost on our grass this morning. I know that a lot of you have major snow storms but this cold I feel here is as cold as I’ve ever known (or want to know). I’m from the tropics and then I moved to Hawaii and I’ve now graduated to California. I don’t think I could take moving anywhere colder. (I’m a wimp, I know…)
Overflowing in Lemons
But one thing great about this season is that the citrus fruits are coming in. Oranges, grapefruits, pomelos, mandarins, lemons. It’s a wonderful time to eat these. And I truly envy those of you with Meyer Lemon Trees in your backyard. I don’t happen to have any citrus fruits (I don’t really count my kaffir lime tree as I only harvest the leaves and have yet to see any fruit on it) but I have friends and neighbors with them. Recently, I was at a friend’s house and her lemon tree was just overflowing with fruit.
She told me she doesn’t use the lemons too much and to help myself to as many as I want. I picked a huge bag full and when she came out, she said, “You didn’t take many!” Yes that is how full her lemon tree was.
I happily came home with my stash and wouldn’t you know it, another friend calls asking if I could make her some lemon curd. What great timing huh? So I was more than happy to whip up a double batch of lemon curd (so I could have some myself!) to go alongside a triple batch of my amazing scones!
A Treasured Lemon Curd Recipe
I got this recipe from a class I took a long time ago at a Viking Home Chef Cooking School. It was a Pies and Tarts Workshop and we had hands-on experience in making both pâte sucrée (Tender Pastry for tarts) and also Cream Short Pastry (more flaky suitable for pies).
But the recipe that I treasure the most from this class is this lemon curd recipe. My best memory from this class was when they passed out a store-bought lemon curd for us to taste (and I thought it was fine) and then they passed around this recipe’s lemon curd (at which time my eyes widened and sunshine burst through my taste receptors). The difference was night and day! That store-bought lemon curd was nowhere near the wonderful fresh lemon sweetness of this recipe. Homemade lemon curd is so much better!
The lemon curd recipe itself was just a demonstration from the instructor without any hands-on from us. It was this demonstration that made me realize what was so great about attending a class. In the written recipe, the ingredients were mixed together and then placed in a double boiler to cook (which requires a lot of time). The instructor showed us how we could simplify by just cooking right on the stovetop with equal success.
So I went home and tried the lemon curd recipe out to great success. It’s a pretty simple and quick recipe and there’s so much you can do with it (if you can stop yourself from spooning it into your mouth every five minutes till it’s gone!). I serve it with scones (good as the scones are on their own, they can always be made better with lemon curd!), or as a filling for fruit tarts or phyllo cups (just layer on and then top with seasonal fruit), or in layer cakes.
2 Tbsp finely minced lemon zest (about 2 medium lemons)
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
3 large whole eggs, lightly beaten
1 stick/4 oz/8 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup granulated sugar (about 6 oz)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2-3 medium lemons)
Lemon Zest, Eggs, Butter and Sugar for Homemade Lemon Curd
1. Whisk all ingredients together in a medium stainless steel saucepan.
2. Place the saucepan on the stove and turn on heat to medium (or medium-low if you are more timid). Stir constantly with a whisk until it starts to thicken a little. Make sure you are standing by your stove the entire time. Trust me, this is not the time to take breaks to watch tv or check on your laundry.
3. Once it starts to thicken, switch to a large flat-bottom spatula and stir frequently, making sure to scrape the bottom of pan so that the curd thickens evenly without burning the bottom.
4. Continue to stir and cook until very thick (about 6-10 minutes, if you’re cooking on medium heat). It’s pretty quick if you do it this way though you need to be vigilant for that time (about 15 minutes total).
Thickened Lemon Curd
5. Strain the curd (yes, you must do this if you want a really smooth and pretty lemon curd) into a bowl.
6. Cover with plastic wrap right on the surface of the curd (to prevent a skin from forming) and chill.
Homemade Lemon Curd
You have to restrain yourself from eating up all the lemon curd with a spoon right away. Use it for all the applications I mentioned above. Enjoy some Summer sunshine in the Winter!
What would you use lemon curd with? Leave us a comment and tell us about it!