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When Life Gives you Lemons, Make Lemon Curd!

For those of you who think everything I cook turns out perfectly, here’s a reality check. I had some leftover sliced, unpeeled apples, from a kids event I did with my friend and former colleague, Chris Ohmer of Cincinnati Magazine. I had wanted to try a new streusel topping recipe so having the apples sliced and ready to go was a no-brainer. Or so I thought. Turns out the peelings on the apples prevented them from baking in the time allotted. By the time the apples baked up tender, the streusel topping was like a brick.

A much-awaited dessert was given to my “girls”, the chickens, who even had a hard time pecking through the streusel.

But I always have success with this lemon curd recipe I promised a while back. I can say that this is just about foolproof if you follow instructions. Lemon curd is expensive to buy and homemade is so much better.

lemon curd tarts - Version 2

Rita’s blender lemon curd

By combining ingredients in the blender, you get a head start on the cooking time. And by adding the butter in a slow stream, you “temper” the eggs, warming them enough so that when they cook in the pan there is less tendency for them to curdle. Instructions are detailed to make it easy for you.

Now I know elsewhere on this site there’s a recipe for lemon curd using only egg yolks. That’s a good one, too, but the yield is smaller. So for starters, try this one which I’ve shared through the years.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 5 large eggs, must be room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and kept hot

Instructions

  1. Combine sugar, juice and eggs in blender. Whirl until mixed.
  2. On low speed, add butter slowly in thin stream.
  3. Transfer to heavy or non-stick saucepan, or double boiler, and cook over low heat, whisking occasionally, until mixture is slightly thickened, about 10-15 minutes. Don’t let it boil or it may curdle. At first, it will seem like forever before the mixture starts to thicken. Be patient.
  4. The curd is cooked when it reaches about 170 degrees but you can see that it’s cooked when your finger leaves a clear path on the back of a spoon (see photo on my website abouteating.com).
  5. Cool and refrigerate, covered. The curd will continue to thicken after it’s refrigerated. You’ll be able to spoon the curd out after it’s chilled properly, several hours or so.
  6. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week or in the freezer up to 2 months.  Makes two cups.

Oh no! I see pieces of cooked egg in the curd after cooking.

The curd was cooked to too high a temperature. Eggs start to “scramble” around 180 degrees. But don’t panic. Just push the curd through a fine sieve. Most of the lumps will come out.

Tip from Rita’s kitchen:

  • Substitute limes for the lemon. Or use a combo of both.
  • Freeze whole lemons or limes for up to 6 months.

Lemon curd mousse

No real recipe here, but I usually use 1 cup of chilled lemon curd and 1 cup of whipping cream.

Whip the cream, stir in the curd and taste to see if it needs to be more lemony. Just stir in more curd to taste.

Spoon into dessert glasses and top with more whipped cream and a berry or mint leaf.

More lemon curd desserts

  • Lemon curd is a wonderful filling for meringues, tarts and trifles.
  • Spoon some on to scones.
  • Mix with cream cheese and spread on toast or bagels.
  • Layer with whipped cream and berries for a lovely spring dessert.

 

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://abouteating.com/6657/

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