I love everything lemon – lemon loaf, lemon chicken, lemonade but one of my favourites is lemon curd. Never heard of it? It’s the food of the gods but I’m not sure who thought the name “curd” would attract many fans? Curd for dairy products is coagulated milk, like cottage cheese, but fruit curd is something completely different. Generally made from citrus fruit, fruit curd is a delicious spread or dessert addition and you may not have realized you were eating lemon curd with your last slice of lemon meringue pie. My favourite topping for scones is clotted cream and lemon curd which is a very traditional way to serve them, but lemon curd has so many more uses!
- Fruit pie, none of that commercial, fake, fluorescent-coloured stuff for me
- Tarts – keep a few shells in the freezer and you can bake them as needed
- Fool – a “fool” (other than the obvious LOL) is a creamy dessert. Take some stiff whipped cream and mix it with the curd. Use a few blueberries or whatever you have on hand for garnish and you’re done
- Toppings – pound cake, waffles, toast, or right from the spoon!
In all my work, I try to say – You may be given a load of sour lemons, why not try to make a dozen lemon meringue pies?
~ Maya Angelou
Have I inspired you to give it a try? Many people are afraid to attempt to make it because they have heard it is difficult to avoid curdling the mixture. I have a foolproof method I use and I’m going to share it with you, it will be our little secret… combining the butter with the sugar prevents separation and makes a silky curd.
Kelly’s Lemon Curd
6 oz. Butter
2 C Sugar
3 Lemons juiced to make 1-1/3 C Lemon Juice
2 tsp. lemon zest
Lemons, Butter, Eggs and Sugar. That’s it! Four ingredients and you can pronounce them all.
Wash the lemons, remove the zest, chop it finely, and set it aside. Juice the lemons and make sure there are no seeds in the juice. You will need to have 1-1/3 cups of lemon juice. I will top it up with lemon juice concentrate if I don’t get enough from the lemons. Separate four of the eggs and set the whites aside. In a separate bowl, combine the four egg yolks with the four whole eggs.
Combine the butter and sugar in your mixer until well incorporated (like you would with cookies). Add the lemon juice and mix gently. Now add the eggs, a bit at a time, until well incorporated. The yolks will automatically fall into the mixing bowl, one at a time, if you pour slowly.
Place the contents in a double boiler. What? You don’t own a double boiler? Neither do I. I take a large pot and fill it half full with water and place the metal bowl from my kitchen aid mixer on top. Voila! Double boiler! You can use any type of metal bowl over boiling water just make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water.
Bring that mixture up to a temperature of 170 degrees, stirring often to prevent sticking. This is an important step because it cooks the egg, which thickens your mixture. You must reach this temperature or your curd will not thicken and will separate over time.
Once you reach the temperature required, remove from the heat.
Add in the lemon zest and stir to incorporate. Cover the surface with plastic wrap by placing the wrap directly on the surface of the curd. This will prevent a skin from forming on the curd. Cool in the fridge until ready to use.
Once the curd is cool, I spoon it into 1-cup containers and freeze. It freezes well and defrosts quickly. The recipe will make four 1-cup containers but one automatically gets set aside for my Mom. Always good to ensure your status as the favourite child!