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Cooking on deadline: Lemon curd

 

Lemon curd is essentially a preserve or condiment made with lemon juice, eggs, sugar and butter. The first three ingredients get blended and softly warmed so that the eggs thicken the mixture. Whisking in cold butter finishes it off and smoothes it out.

Lemon curd is essentially a preserve or condiment made with lemon juice, eggs, sugar and butter. The first three ingredients get blended and softly warmed so that the eggs thicken the mixture. Whisking in cold butter finishes it off and smoothes it out. Photo by: Courtesy of Laura Agra via AP

 

Katie Workman/The Associated Press

 

 

So, what is lemon curd, and what do you do with it? 

 

Lemon curd is essentially a preserve or condiment made with lemon juice, eggs, sugar and butter. The first three ingredients get blended and softly warmed so that the eggs thicken the mixture. Whisking in cold butter finishes it off and smoothes it out. 

 

What you do with it is the fun part. Use it on toast, scones, biscuits, or English muffins. Blend it into whipped cream to layer with cake and fruit in a trifle. Top a cheesecake with a layer. Fill a cake with it. Stir it into yogurt. Spoon it onto a slice of pound cake. Anywhere you want a burst of sweet, creamy, pleasantly tart, lemony-ness, this curd is your gal. 

 

A small jar of this makes a lovely holiday gift. Tie on a tag with the above advice for how to put the lemon curd to good use, and remind the recipient to keep it refrigerated. 

 

Oh, and lime juice also works; then you have lime curd. A nice way to switch it up. 

 

 

 

LEMON CURD 

 

Makes about 2 cups (about 16 servings) 

 

Start to finish: 3 hours (30 minutes hands-on; 2 1/2 hours chilling time) 

 

 

 

1 large egg 

 

4 large egg yolks 

 

1 cup sugar 

 

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 

 

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces 

 

Pinch kosher salt 

 

 

 

  • In a large, heavy pot, whisk together the egg, yolks, sugar and lemon juice until smooth. 

     

  • Place pot over medium heat and whisk frequently until mixture is warm. Continue whisking frequently until mixture thickens and turns buttery yellow, about 7-10 minutes. n Adjust heat as needed to make sure mixture does not simmer, but stays hot. When mixture coats back of a mixing spoon, it is done. You can also use a candy thermometer to measure temperature, which should be between 170 and 175 degrees F. 

     

  • Remove pot from heat and whisk in butter one tablespoon at a time, until each addition of butter is melted and incorporated. Whisk in the salt. 

     

  • Transfer lemon curd to a glass container. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the top (this prevents a skin from forming) and allow to cool. Seal container and refrigerate for up to 10 days. 

     

    Nutrition information per serving: 107 calories; 51 calories from fat; 6 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 71 mg cholesterol; 22 mg sodium; 13 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 13 g sugar; 1 g protein.

     

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